Obama budget to drop benefit cost-of-living trims

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. 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. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will propose an election-year budget that would drop reductions he had previously embraced in federal benefits, officials disclosed Thursday. He also will ask Congress to approve about $56 billion in new or expanded programs, stepping back from aggressive efforts to tackle long-term government deficits and debt.

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