U.S. President Barack Obama says he is taking steps to bring the nation's budget deficit under control.
In his weekly Saturday address, President Obama returned to the theme of his State of the Union speech, calling job creation his top priority. But at the same time, he said it is critical that budget deficits are controlled so they do not damage financial markets or jeopardize an economic recovery.
The president praised the U.S. Senate for restoring pay-as-you-go budget rules this week. Mr. Obama said the same rules were in place in the 1990s and pointed out that decade ended with $236 billion surplus.
Mr. Obama said he has also proposed a freeze in discretionary spending to cut investments in redundant or ineffective programs, as more money is spent to create jobs and cut taxes for the middle class.
The president said he has also called for the creation of a bi-partisan Fiscal Commission to bring together Republican and Democratic lawmakers to develop concrete proposals to reduce the deficit.
Mr. Obama said 53 Democrats and Republicans in the Senate voted this week to create such a commission, falling short of the 60 votes need for passage. He said the measure failed because seven Republicans who originally sponsored the measure backed out for political reasons.