Bayh calls for freeze in discretionary spending

Centrist Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) on Saturday urged President Barack Obama to call for a freeze in discretionary spending in his State of the Union address next week.

Bayh's comments come as Congress and the White House are grappling with ways to bring down the record federal budget deficit.

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"The president could say in his State of the Union address, I'm going to include in my budget a freeze on discretionary spending, I'm drawing a line in the sand, and I'm going to use my veto pen to enforce that," Bayh said on Bloomberg's "Political Capital."

Pressed by host Al Hunt if Obama would actually make such a statement, Bayh said "I think there's a  fighting chance that he will."

Obama is expected to address jobs and the economy in his State of the Union address on Wednesday. A large portion of voter anger over the economy has centered around the $1.4 trillion deficit, a post-war record. 

Bayh's proposal to freeze discretionary spending would not apply to entitlement and defense spending, a large portion of the federal budget.

Some members of Congress have proposed creating a fiscal commission to recommend spending cuts and tax hikes but Bayh said that Congress will likely not pass the measure.

The Indiana senator, though, said that he expects Obama to push the idea in his address and to create a panel by executive order. The presidential commission "is not as good, but is at least there’s a step in the right direction," Bayh said.

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