Topics: National News

Officials: Obama drops budget cost-of-living trims

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama's upcoming budget proposal will not include his past offer to accept lowered cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs. Those had been a central component of his long-term debt-reduction strategy.

Officials said Thursday that those potential reductions in spending, included in last year's Obama budget, had been designed to initiate negotiations with Republicans over how to reduce deficits and the nation's debt. One official said the offer would remain on the table in the event of new budget talks, but that it would not be part of the president's formal spending blueprint.

The officials were not authorized to comment by name on the budget plan before its March 4 release and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

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