UPDATE 1-Congress will enact Obama’s spending freeze-Hoyer

(new throughout with quotes, background, detail)

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. Congress will enact
President Barack Obama’s proposed three-year spending freeze on
some government programs, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
predicted on Thursday in an interview with Reuters.

But the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives said
he did not think the freeze should be extended to the military
programs that make up a larger portion of the budget,
contradicting remarks earlier in the day by House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi.

Hoyer agreed with Obama, who in his State of the Union
speech to Congress on Wednesday proposed the freeze only for
some domestic programs.

“I would be much more reticent in looking at spending on
our national security, because I think that we need to make
sure we have the funds to get the job done,” Hoyer said in a
phone interview.

Hoyer’s remarks outline the challenge ahead for Obama’s
Democrats as they try to bring down record budget deficits and
create jobs at the same time.

With congressional elections ahead in November, Democrats
face a growing voter backlash over the sluggish U.S. economy
and the aggressive spending measures Democrats have taken to
improve it.

Democrats must stay united to overcome disciplined
Republican opposition, but some liberal members have balked at
Obama’s suggestions to tame the deficit and create jobs through
tax breaks and increased lending to small businesses.

Pelosi broke ranks with Obama in saying the proposed
spending freeze should also apply to defense expenditures as
well as domestic spending.

Meanwhile, a House Democrat who has jurisdiction over
small-business programs had “some reservations” about Obama’s
proposal to direct $30 billion to smaller banks to boost
lending to small businesses, Hoyer said.

Hoyer said he will meet next week with that member,
Representative Nydia Velazquez, to discuss her concerns.

Hoyer said he was confident that Congress would approve
legislation that would bring down the unemployment rate by the
time of the mid-term elections.

“I think the president’s ideas will certainly be looked at
closely and will have currency,” Hoyer said.

“We’ve shown the ability to move and move decisively in a
relatively short period of time,” he added.

Stock Market Report

(Editing by Paul Simao)

UPDATE 1-Congress will enact Obama’s spending freeze-Hoyer