Obama's budget trims get cool response in Congress 

There appears to be little coordination or agreement between the White House and the Democratic Congress on the new course of action to address jobs, the economy and the deficit.

When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Wednesday, he will announce a proposal to trim some domestic spending for three years. But he has apparently not shared his plans with Congress, yet.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has seen no details about the proposal.

"We'll have to look at see what the president's talking about cutting," Reid said. "We have to make sure that we have money for education. We have to make sure we have money to take care of our civil society, police, fire. We have all kinds of programs I'll look at very, very closely."

The proposal got a lukewarm response from other Senate Democrats as well.

"A freeze is a very good thing providing it is very carefully defined up front so people know what's in it and what is not in it," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said. "Because there are certain things we need to invest in in order to get out of the recession and I think it's important not to handicap that."

The Senate rejected on Tuesday the creation of a debt-reduction commission, which Obama supports and is expected to create through an executive order, despite its bipartisan rejection in the Senate.

Republicans have criticized the president's partial spending freeze as window dressing. The cuts would slash about $15 billion in spending next year, a tiny fraction of a spending plan of more than $3 trillion.

"It's not nearly as big a step as the American people are asking us to take," Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. "I think any indication the administration is trying to reduce spending is a good thing, but we've been on quite a binge over the last 12 months, and it's going it take a lot more than just this kind of modest freeze to get us back on the right track."

The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday projected a $1.35 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year.


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