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Obama: Cut spending ‘without slowing our economic momentum’

President Obama used his weekly video address to call on Congress to
reach a budget agreement that “cuts spending without slowing our
economic momentum.”

“We need a government that lives within its
means without sacrificing job-creating investments in education,
innovation, and infrastructure,” Obama said.

{mosads}Touting the decline in the unemployment rate last month and a
220,000 increase in private sector jobs, the president credited the
December bipartisan tax cut accord with helping to fuel the economic
growth.

Obama also praised Congress for passing a two-week
spending bill that prevented a government shutdown this week. But he
warned against further short-term extensions. “We can’t do business two
weeks at a time,” he said. “It’s not responsible, and it threatens the
progress our economy has been making. We’ve got to keep that momentum
going.”

The president reiterated his administration’s claim that it has
already met Republicans “halfway” on proposed budget cuts – an assertion
that GOP leaders dispute. “And I’m prepared to do more,” Obama said.
“But we’ll only finish the job together – by sitting at the same table,
working out our differences, and finding common ground.”


“Getting our fiscal house in order can’t just be something we use as
cover to do away with things we dislike politically,” Obama added, in a
veiled dig at GOP attempts to use the spending bills to target the
disputed healthcare law. “And it can’t just be about how much we cut.
It’s got to be about how we cut and how we invest.”
 
Obama dispatched Vice President Biden to negotiate an agreement
with congressional leaders to fund the government through September. The
first meeting occurred Thursday at the Capitol. Current federal funding
runs out March 18.

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