Ben Nelson wants more extensive spending cuts in budget

Congress should go further in cutting the budget than is called for in President Barack Obama's newly-unveiled budget, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) urged Monday.

Nelson, a key centrist Democrat with a hawkish record when it comes to deficits, welcomed the spending freeze proposed by the president, but said it should go further, perhaps including entitlement programs.

"The President’s budget proposal for a three-year domestic spending freeze is a good first step that will save $250 billion over the next 10 years," Nelson said in a statement, noting the deficits Obama inherited.

"We should go further and look at all spending programs, both discretionary and mandatory, and find additional spending cuts," he added.

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Obama's budget calls for $3.8 trillion in spending, but would result in a projected $1.27 trillion deficit.

Nelson said he's not comfortable with those numbers.

“The 2011 budget’s projected deficits are still too high for me," he said. "I will work with my colleagues on ways to rein in the budget deficit sooner rather than later."

The senator made no threats over the size and scope of the budget and its deficit, though he said he welcomed the budget commission to be created by Obama via executive order, as well as the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) established last week by the Senate in a vote.

Nelson had been somewhat of a thorn in more liberal members' sides when it's come to a more major budgetary item, healthcare reform, over the past year.