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Obama’s spending freeze plan gets a cool reception

President Obama faces headwinds after his State of the Union address offer to freeze domestic spending for five years got short shrift from Republicans and new projections had the federal deficit growing to $1.5tn (£940bn).

Mr Obama made a dash for the centre in an hour-long address to a joint session of Congress, with gestures to the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, including promises to work on cutting corporate taxes and reforming the tax code.

Mr Obama insisted that only by finding common ground would progress be possible in Washington. “We will move forward together, or not at all, for the challenges we face are |bigger than party, and bigger than politics,” he told the chamber.

But there was a mostly cool reception to Mr Obama's proposal, which could save $40bn a year over 10 years compared to a Republican plan that seeks cuts twice as deep.

The freeze would apply to about a fifth of spending and would not touch defence or social security funding.

However, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner responded: ”A partial freeze is inadequate at a time when we're borrowing 41 cents of every dollar we spend, and the |administration is begging for another increase in the debt limit.”

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