Obama urges House to hit stimulus spend goal: Orszag

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:01pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama wants the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation that hits his goal of spending 75 percent of the $825 billion stimulus plan within 18 months, his budget director said on Tuesday.

"The president urges you pass a final bill that has at least 75 percent of the funds spending out over the next year and a half," White House Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag said in a letter to House Appropriations Chairman David Obey.

The bill the House is considering would only spend 64 percent of the money in that period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

Orszag also said the government must eventually return to paying-as-you-go for non-emergency spending, a key concern among a bloc of fiscal conservative Democrats who sought such a commitment from the Obama administration.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Bill Trott)

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