Govt spending cuts hurt families: Obama

Updated: 2013-03-05 10:19


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Monday said that the ongoing government spending cuts will hurt US families and slow the nation's economic growth.

The government should manage the spending cuts "as best we can, try to minimize the impacts on American families", Obama said at the first Cabinet meeting of his second term.

Obama on Friday signed an order to officially start the $85 billion across-the-board government spending cuts for this fiscal year ending on Sept 30, after the White House and Republicans failed to reach a plan to stop the spending cuts from taking effect.

"It makes sense for us to take a balanced approach that takes a long view and doesn't reduce our commitment to things like education and basic research that will help us grow over the long term," Obama noted.

"I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everybody knows is the right way to do things," he said.

"We're going to do our best to make sure that our agencies have the support they need to try to make some very difficult decisions, understanding that there are going to be families and communities that are hurt, and that this will slow our growth. It will mean lower employment in the United States than otherwise would have been," Obama stressed.

Obama on Monday nominated three Cabinet-level officials, a big step to form his second-term leadership team. He promoted Gina McCarthy, an official of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to lead the agency, and tapped MIT physicist Ernest Moniz to run the Energy Department. He also picked Clinton-era budget expert Sylvia Burwell as the director of White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

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