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Road trip: In Florida, Obama warns of shutdown

- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Promoting his economic agenda on the road for the second straight day, President Obama said Thursday that House Republicans are risking another financial crisis by threatening a government shutdown in September.

"Right now we've seen a group of Republicans in the House, in particular, who suggest they wouldn't vote to pay the very bills that Congress has already racked up," Mr. Obama told an audience in Jacksonville, Fla. "That harmed our recovery back in 2011, it would severely harm it again. It could plunge us back into financial crisis."

The president, who's trying to set the terms of debate for looming confrontations this fall with the GOP over spending priorities and raising the nation's borrowing limit, said Republican lawmakers are also thwarting economic progress by failing to approve the immigration reform bill that cleared the Senate.

"So far, we haven't been able to get the House Republicans to give it a vote," the president said.

Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said the House GOP is "committed to fixing a broken immigration system."

"Our focus is on getting the policy right, so we fix our immigration system once and for all, and help our economy grow," Mr. Boehner told reporters.

The president is in the midst of a series of speeches on the economy as he tries to shift the political narrative from the scandals that have sidetracked his second-term agenda. Most of his proposals aren't new, such as calls for more spending on education and infrastructure projects, and for raising the federal minimum wage.

For his part, Mr. Boehner said the president is ignoring House Republicans' "common-sense" ideas to fix the economy.

"We want to expand American energy, simplify our tax code, reduce harmful regulations, and fix a broken government," Mr. Boehner said. "If the president wants a 'better bargain' – I think it's a pretty good place to start."

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