(Adds more White House comment, details)
WASHINGTON Feb 1 U.S. President Barack Obama
told his cabinet on Tuesday that his upcoming budget proposal
for fiscal 2012 "will provide a responsible 10-year path for
reining in the deficit," the White House said.
"Beyond simply reducing government spending, the president
emphasized the need to reform and reorganize the government so
it operates smarter and more efficiently," the White House said
in a readout of Obama's cabinet meeting earlier on Tuesday.
The administration is anxious that any steps to confront
the country's fiscal challenges do not undermine a fragile U.S.
recovery amid unemployment that remains stuck above 9 percent.
The budget will be released on Feb. 14 and Obama, a
Democrat, warned his cabinet it will lay out "tough choices".
These are needed to tackle a huge U.S. budget deficit and
towering debt, but Republicans warn they may not go far enough
and want even sterner measures to control government spending.
The debt is expected to hit a $14.3 trillion ceiling
imposed by Congress by the end of March. Republicans are
expected to seek concessions from Obama's Democrats in return
for voting to raise the borrowing limit, which is necessary in
order to avoid a damaging default by the U.S. government.
(Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Sandra Maler)