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Obama calls for unity on budget

world Updated: Mar 05, 2011 16:47 IST

US President Barack Obama called on Saturday for Democrats and Republicans to agree on a budget that cuts wasteful spending without sacrificing job creating investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure.

"We need to come together, Democrats and Republicans, around a long term budget that sacrifices wasteful spending without sacrificing the job-creating investments in our future," Obama said in his weekly radio address.

"My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway," he added. "And I'm prepared to do more."

The comments came after Obama, late on Wednesday, signed a Republican drafted stopgap spending measure to fund government operations till March 18, while slicing $4 billion in outlays in a bid to buy time for a longer deal to cover the rest of the fiscal year than ends September 30.

The White House and Congress must reach another deal by the two week mark; or face the prospects of a partial government shutdown.

The President said he was pleased by this temporary agreement, but argued the government could not "do business two weeks at a time." "It's not responsible, and it threatens the progress our economy has been making," he argued.

"We've got to keep that momentum going." Obama said he opposes proposed spending cuts on education because, if these cuts were enacted, the country would be "risking the future of an entire generation of Americans."