Obama calls for common ground on budget

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is making a call for compromise on the federal budget.

In his weekly radio and Internet message, Obama is urging lawmakers to find common ground on a budget deal to avert a government shutdown and says he's willing to agree to steeper cuts to get there.

He didn't offer any specifics on how to bridge the $50 billion gulf that divides the White House and Democratic budget proposal from the much steeper cuts offered by Republicans.

The competing plans are headed for test votes in the Senate in the coming week that neither is expected to survive but that will set the stage for further negotiations.

Republicans say President Barack Obama's words don't match his actions where federal spending is concerned.

In their weekly radio and Internet message, Tennessee Congresswoman Diane Black rejected Obama's approach on the budget.

Black says the White House plan continues out-of-control spending increases the nation's debt and "adds to the uncertainty that makes it harder to create jobs."

She says the status quo and the lack of credible spending cuts is "unacceptable and inexcusable."

The government is running on a stopgap spending bill that expires March 18.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)