Washington (CNN) – President Obama remains committed to his pledge to cut the federal budget deficit by late 2012, a White House spokesman said Sunday.
Soon after taking office last year, the president pledged to reduce by half the budget deficit his administration inherited from his predecessor.
Asked about that pledge on State of the Union, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told CNN’s John King that Obama “is committed to keeping that goal, understanding, that as you said, this recession was deeper than we thought it was going to be.”
On Monday, Gibbs said, Obama will outline some steps intended to reduce the deficit, including a freeze on non-security-related, discretionary spending.
As the deficit has reached historic levels not seen in many decades, the Obama administration has come under increasing pressure to rein in federal spending. In response, the White House has announced its support for a number of measures meant to reduce the deficit, including a bipartisan commission that would advise Congress about spending and revenue, the re-institution of a “pay-as-you-go” rule for federal spending and the spending freeze mentioned by Gibbs.
The Senate recently rejected a proposal for a bipartisan commission whose recommendations would’ve been binding on Congress. Obama has plans to set up a similar body by executive order; its recommendations would not be binding. The proposal to re-institute “pay-as-you-go” limits on federal spending was recently approved by the Senate.