Obama to propose short-term package to put off spending cuts

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday will propose that Congress pass a small package of spending cuts and tax reforms to put off the "harmful consequences" of huge automatic spending cuts known as the "sequester" for a few months, a White House official said.

"Uncertainty around the sequester is already having a negative impact on our economic growth, and if it was to take effect it would cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs and have devastating impact on our economy," the official said.

The small budget package would "allow Congress more time to reach a solution that permanently avoids the sequester and significantly reduces the deficit in a balanced way," the official added.

Obama will speak at 1:15 p.m. EST.

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