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U.S. Treasury Secretary urges Congress to aid economic growth

(Xinhua)

09:40, February 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday called on Congress to back the government's budget proposals on key investment to boost the country's economic growth and competitiveness.

"While the economy is regaining strength, we still face significant economic challenges" including high U.S. unemployment rate and eurozone debt crisis, Geithner said in his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee one day after the Obama administration sent its 3.8-trillion-dollar budget for the 2013 fiscal year to Congress.

The new budget plan was conducive to improving access to education and job training, promoting manufacturing and innovation as well as improving the country's infrastructure, he stressed.

The White House has proposed new spending measures in the plan to foster short-term job creation, including 476 billion dollars for infrastructure projects over six years, 30 billion dollars to modernize schools and 30 billion dollars to help hire teachers, police and firefighters over the next decade.

"Investing in our economy will help us grow and make our fiscal challenges more manageable," Geithner added.

The submission of White House's budget proposal to Congress was the first step of the lengthy congressional budget decision- making process, and a string of hearings will be held in coming weeks before relevant appropriation bills could be passed by Congress.

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