- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 9, 2011

President Obama on Saturday visited the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate an averted government shutdown, and congratulated congressional leaders for striking a deal, saying cooperation between Democrats and Republicans is a model for tackling the next looming fights.

“Cooperation has made it possible for us to move forward with the biggest annual spending cut in history,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly radio address, aired Saturday morning. “And it’s my sincere hope that we can continue to come together as we face the many difficult challenges that lie ahead – from creating jobs and growing our economy to educating our children and reducing our long-term deficits.”

Hours later, the president made a trip to the Lincoln Memorial to visit with tourists. Mr. Obama said a late-night deal Friday meant the monument was able to remain open.

“Because Congress was able to settle its differences, that’s why this place is open today and everybody’s able to enjoy their visit,” he said. “And that’s the kind of future cooperation I hope we have going forward.”

With little more than an hour to go before a midnight deadline Friday, House Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed to two spending bills: one to keep the government open another week, and the other to fully fund operations the rest of the fiscal year, which runs through Sept. 30.

The government technically ran out of money at midnight Friday, and it appears the president didn’t sign the short-term bill to keep the government open until the middle of the day. But the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo telling all agencies to continue normal operations.

In congratulating each other overnight for striking a deal, congressional leaders said they had secured the largest non-defense spending cuts in the country’s history.

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