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Obama urges Congress to head off spending cuts

Saturday - 2/23/2013, 6:18pm  ET

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Chicago. The president and congressional Republicans each seem content with the political ground they hold and are prepared to let across-the-board spending cuts take effect on March 1, unlike during earlier rounds of budget brinkmanship that saw last minute frantic dealmaking. This time, there is no market-rattling threat of a US. default to force the two sides to compromise, no government shutdown on the short-term horizon and no year-end deadline to prevent a tax increase for every working American. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says a little compromise is all Congress needs to turn off automatic, across-the-board budget cuts set to kick in a week from now.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the cuts will slow the economy and hurt the middle class. He says thousands of teachers will be laid off and air traffic controllers will be forced into unpaid leave, leading to airport delays. He says almost 800,000 defense workers will also face furloughs.

Obama says he wants a balanced plan to deal with the deficit that mixes spending cuts with more tax revenue.

In the Republican address, Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota says Obama should approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas, as a way to create jobs and grow the economy.

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Online:

Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress


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