Lew Says Budget Deal With Congress Can Be Reached

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is telling Congress that the Obama administration is optimistic about a budget deal, but he urged lawmakers to consider concessions already made in President Barack Obama's $3.8 trillion spending request.

Lew says in prepared testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee that the budget request put forward Wednesday represents a balanced approach. It claims $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, although $1.2 trillion of that would be devoted to reversing automatic cuts that were part of a 2011 budget deal.

The budget the administration unveiled on Wednesday contains spending curbs on Social Security and Medicare and new taxes totaling close to $1 trillion over 10 years.

Republicans who oppose tax increases have criticized the plan.


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