Obama Welcomes End to Standoff, Urges Congress to Change Its Ways

12:47 PM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the partial government shutdown "inflicted unnecessary damage" on the U.S. economy and hurt America's credibility around the world.

And now that it's over, Obama says leaders in Washington should focus on a budget, immigration reform and a farm bill.

The president laid out his agenda at the White House this morning, hours after signing a bill reopening the government and averting a default.

He also decried the partisan rancor that led to the 16-day partial shutdown and brought the nation to the brink of default. He says the nation's credit rating was jeopardized, economic growth and hiring slowed and federal workers were deprived of paychecks because of "yet another self-inflicted crisis."

Obama says the American people "are completely fed up with Washington" and the way business is done in the capital must change.

The president says the first matter Congress has to deal with is reaching a budget agreement so there won't be another standoff early next year when the temporary measure runs out.

Congressional negotiators started discussing that this morning, when Congress' four top budget writers met over breakfast.

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