February 1, 2011 / 8:43 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Obama budget seeks "responsible" path to curb deficit

(Adds more White House comment, details)

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - 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

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