Obama: 'Clouds of crisis and uncertainy have lifted'

Oct. 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday "clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted" with a deal on government funding but Washington must change its ways.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president credited Democrats and "responsible Republicans" for resolving the standoff that resulted in the federal government shutdown and the possibility of default on federal debt.

"There's been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown," he said. "But the truth is, there were no winners in this. At a time when our economy needs more growth and more jobs, the manufactured crises of these last few weeks actually harmed jobs and growth. And it's understandable that your frustration with what goes on in Washington has never been higher.

"The way business is done in Washington has to change," Obama said. "Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do -- grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul."

The president said he believes Democrats and Republicans "can work together right away" on working out a budget, reforming immigration law and passing a farm bill.

He called for a "balanced approach to a responsible budget, one that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further."

"There is no choice between growth and fiscal responsibility -- we need both," Obama said. "So we're making a serious mistake if a budget doesn't focus on what you're focused on: creating more good jobs that pay better wages."

The president called on the House to pass immigration reform, which has already been passed in the Senate "with strong bipartisan support."

"We won't suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed," he said. "But we shouldn't hold back on places where we do agree, just because we don't think it's good politics, or just because the extremes in our parties don't like compromise."

Obama said "lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis ... isn't governing -- it's just hurting the people we were sent here to serve."

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