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Obama's Budget Would Undo Broad, Automatic Cuts Made In 2013

President Obama speaks to the media after the automatic budget cuts associated with the sequester took effect in March 2013.

When President Obama meets with House Democrats tonight during their retreat in Philadelphia, officials say he'll lay out the details of his budget proposal, which will include reversal of large cuts to federal spending instituted in 2013.

NPR's Mara Liasson reports that those spending cuts, known as the sequester, hit both the defense and domestic budgets. The cuts were the result of an uncomfortable congressional agreement in 2011 that triggered across-the-board cuts if a "supercommittee," or a panel of bipartisan leaders, could not agree on a way to cut the budget by $1.5 trillion over a decade. When talks on budget cuts fell apart, the automatic spending reductions began — to the tune of $85 billion in 2013.

The president officially will release his fiscal 2016 budget to the public on Monday; White House officials say it also will include boosted spending on education, infrastructure and the military, offset by closing tax loopholes used by the wealthy.

Congressional Republicans are unlikely to accept those proposals, Mara reports.

Responding to Obama's State of the Union address earlier this month, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said her party would support tax reform "to lower rates — and create jobs, not pay for more government spending." She also said the Republican caucus would pursue a balanced budget.

A White House official said Obama hopes to work with Republicans to build on 2013's bipartisan budget agreement.

"The president believes we should end the era of manufactured crises and mindless austerity," the statement read.

The stuffed-full "cromnibus" spending bill was passed by a lame-duck Senate in December and funds the government through the end of the fiscal year in September.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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