President Obama / Associated Press
Don't be surprised if President Obama addresses the proposed congressional budget deal on Wednesday, and to say good things about it.
In a written statement late Tuesday, Obama called the deal "a good first step" toward a "balanced" budget approach that combines prudent cuts with investments in job-generating programs.
"This agreement doesn't include everything I'd like -- and I know many Republicans feel the same way," Obama said. "That's the nature of compromise. But it's a good sign that Democrats and Republicans in Congress were able to come together and break the cycle of short-sighted, crisis-driven decision-making to get this done."
In pledging to sign a bill based on the proposal, Obama said "the defining challenge of our time is not whether Congress can pass a budget -- it's whether we can make sure our economy works for every working American."
The proposed two-year spending plan would restore about $63 billion in automatic spending cuts under the sequester.
Some Republican conservatives are opposing the deal, saying it doesn't do enough to reduce the nation's $17 trillion debt.
More from Obama's statement:
"This agreement replaces a portion of the across-the-board spending cuts known as "the sequester" that have harmed students, seniors, and middle-class families and served as a mindless drag on our economy over the last year.
"It clears the path for critical investments in things like scientific research, which has the potential to unleash new innovation and new industries. It's balanced, and includes targeted fee increases and spending cuts designed in a way that doesn't hurt our economy or break the ironclad promises we've made to our seniors.
"It does all this while slightly reducing our deficits over time -- coming on top of four years of the fastest deficit reduction since the end of World War II. And because it's the first budget that leaders of both parties have agreed to in a few years, the American people should not have to endure the pain of another government shutdown for the next two years. ...
And while today's agreement is a good first step, Congress has a lot more to do on that front. In the immediate term, Congress should extend unemployment insurance, so more than a million Americans looking for work don't lose a vital economic lifeline right after Christmas, and our economy doesn't take a hit.
"And beyond that, they should do more to expand broad-based growth and opportunity -- by creating more jobs that pay better wages, by growing our economy, and by offering a path into the middle class for every American willing to work for it."
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