Obama uses his address to kick off budget push

  • Updated: March 21, 2009 - 5:12 PM

President Obama, signaling the start of what promises to be a bruising fight with Congress, said he expected lawmakers to pass a budget that would finance major programs in his economic recovery plan while substantially cutting the country's national deficit.

In his weekly address on Saturday, Obama said he would spend the coming week pushing for the programs in his $3.6 trillion budget.

Obama said he expects a budget that will reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil by investing in wind power and solar power technology, advanced biofuels and fuel-efficient cars.

He said the final budget must also invest in education programs and changes in health care. And all of that should be done, he said, while cutting the national deficit.

Republicans, however, slammed Obama's budget as a breathtaking spending spree. As states and families are struggling to cut spending, the president's budget "spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much," Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi said in the weekly Republican address.

Obama said on Saturday that he would meet with congressional leaders in the next week and would hold a prime-time news conference on Tuesday to discuss his economic recovery plans.

NEW YORK TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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