Obama touts cost-saving measures in first cabinet meeting

Obama touts cost-saving measures in first cabinet meeting Washington - In the first cabinet meeting of his administration Monday, US President Barack Obama called for 100 million dollars to be shaved off department budgets in the next three months.

Obama has struggled to get his full cabinet in place since taking office in January amid a number of high-profile withdrawals, including two previous picks for commerce secretary and his original choice to lead the Health and Human Services Department.

Kathleen Sebelius, who was tapped to become health secretary after Thomas Daschle pulled out over tax issues, is the only cabinet member who still has to be approved by the US Senate.

Obama said he was instructing his cabinet to find 100 million dollars in savings in their departments over the next 90 days, including moving towards electronic records systems and cutting office space and travel costs, the White House said.

The federal budget is projected to top 1.8 trillion dollars this year - more than 13 per cent of US economic output - according to the Congressional Budget Office, as the US confronts its worst economic crisis in decades. (dpa)

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