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Obama to make 100 mn dollar spending cut call

President Barack Obama will challenge government departments on Monday to slice 100 million dollars from the US federal budget in the next three months, during his debut cabinet meeting.

world Updated: Apr 21, 2009 08:36 IST

President Barack Obama will challenge government departments on Monday to slice 100 million dollars from the US federal budget in the next three months, during his debut cabinet meeting.

The move will highlight Obama's vow to trim unneeded spending from the budget as the deficit is inflated by hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending intended to rescue the crisis-mired economy.

Obama will ask cabinet secretaries to identify cuts of a collective 100 million dollars over the next 90 days, an administration official said on condition of anonymity.

"Agencies will be required to report back with their savings at the end of 90 days," the official said.

Republicans have accused Obama of bankrupting future generations of Americans with big-spending budget proposals, but the administration counters short-term expenditures are vital to economic recovery.

The cabinet meeting comes on the heels of Obama's whirlwind weekend of diplomacy at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, dominated by signs of a tentative thaw between the United States and Cuba.

Back in Washington, however, domestic priorities are set to shape the agenda in coming weeks, as the administration renews its bid to reignite the economy.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast last month the budget deficit could hit 1.845 trillion dollars for the whole year, based on Obama's 3.5-trillion-dollar budget plan approved by Congress.

The CBO said its budget deficit estimate for fiscal 2009, which ends on September 30, would be four times the 2008 record shortfall and amount to 13.1 percent of the country's total economic output.

The Obama budget forecasts a 1.750 trillion dollar deficit in fiscal 2009.