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ABC News: President Obama to Propose Budget Freeze, Earmark Ban

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Pursuing a path of deficit reduction and government reform, President Obama will in his State of the Union address call for a ban on earmarks and propose an overall budget freeze, ABC News has learned.

The proposals come as the president prepares to tackle the deficit and debt and as he faces a House of Representatives in Republican hands, many of whose members include those affiliated with the Tea Party who were voted into office in large measure by touting those key objectives.

The president will propose some new spending in certain areas that address the speech's theme of "How We Win the Future": innovation, education, and infrastructure. But those increases will be proposed as part of an overall budget freeze, which given the annual rate of growth is often seen in Washington, D.C., budgeting as a cut.

The FY 2011 budget was $3.8 trillion. Last year President Obama proposed a three-year hard freeze on non-security discretionary spending, to save $250 billion over the next decade; this would be much broader.

The president's critics say his proposed freezing of the budget at its stumulus-inflated 2008 levels is not  belt tightening at all.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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