WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave a lukewarm welcome to the partial spending freeze being proposed by President Barack Obama.
Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday that he had not been briefed on the president’s plan and would need to look at it “very, very closely.”
“We’ll have to look see what the president’s talking about cutting,” Reid said. “We have to make sure that we have money for education,” and also police services and firefighting among other things.
At his State of the Union speech today, Obama is expected to propose a three-year freeze on $477 billion in discretionary spending — the programs that Congress funds from year to year.
According to administration officials, the freeze would not cover the military, Veterans Affairs and homeland security. Also, entitlement spending programs like Medicare and Social Security would not be affected. The federal budget totaled $3.5 trillion this year.
Obama officials further said the freeze would not be on spending across the board. Rather, some programs would see increases and some would be cut, with the net effect being to hold spending level starting in 2011.