WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Sylvia Burwell, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on Wednesday said she was "cautiously optimistic" that congressional budget negotiators will ink a budget deal this month to replace some of the ongoing across-the-board government spending cuts.
"I am optimistic that we can get there, and I would say I am cautiously optimistic because having been in Washington, D.C. for six months now I have seen things get close and not get there," Burwell said at an event hosted by U.S. newspaper Politico in Washington D.C..
Burwell, former deputy OMB director in the Clinton administration, has served as U.S. President Barack Obama's budget chief for more than six months.
Replacing the across-the-board spending cuts, the so-called sequester, is a priority for the Obama administration and the spending cuts are hurting U.S. economic growth, military and people's daily life, she said.
After a partial government shutdown, a 29-member bipartisan budget negotiation committee was discussing the federal government's budget plan for the current fiscal year starting on Oct. 1 and the sequester. They have a Dec. 13 deadline to produce a plan, and no results have been announced yet.
The sequester was included in the August 2011 debt-ceiling package with a total of more than 1 trillion U.S. dollars to be cut over 10 years. The federal government underwent a partial shutdown on Oct. 1-16 and only reopened after Congress approved a short-term deal to fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.
U.S. House speaker presses Obama to negotiate over budget, debt limit
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to sit down with Republicans as soon as possible to negotiate over government budget and the debt ceiling to solve the fiscal deadlock.
Speaking hours after Obama's press conference at the White House, Boehner reiterated the message that an increase of the government's borrowing authority must be tied with fiscal reforms to reduce the government's budget deficits. Full story