President Barack Obama wants to increase the budget for fighting superbugs.
New Delhi CNN  — 

President Barack Obama wants to double the government’s efforts combating drug-resistant superbugs responsible for millions of illnesses each year.

The White House said Tuesday that Obama will call for $1.2 billion in his upcoming budget proposal to fund research efforts and training programs designed to slow the spike in bacteria that defy antibiotics.

READ: Obama keeps the lights on bulb bright ideas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say those kinds of bugs kill 23,000 people a year in the United States, and cause 2 million sicknesses.

Obama wants to ramp up research efforts at government agencies looking into how bacteria grows immune to widely used antibiotics, and supporting scientists developing new drugs.

Experts say a rise in bugs that aren’t stopped by drugs presents one of the biggest public health threats to the United States. The problem, they say, originates in overuse of widely available antibiotics, some of which don’t require a doctor’s prescription.

Researchers are also probing the links between superbugs and the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock.

Obama signed an executive order in September that established an inter-agency task force charged with developing a government strategy for superbugs, and set reduction goals for the numbers of drug-resistant infections each year.

The White House’s budget request heads to Capitol Hill on Feb. 2.