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Obama says job creation top US priority

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-20 02:18

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the top priority for the nation is to bolster economic growth and create jobs for the middle class, warning that drastic government spending cuts will hurt US economic recovery.

At a White House press conference, Obama argued that the looming automatic government spending cuts is not helpful to US economic recovery and job creation.

"Our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow the economy and create good middle-class jobs. That's our top priority. That's our North Star," Obama stressed.

Obama urged US lawmakers to take appropriate action to ink a balanced deficit reduction plan in order to avoid onerous cuts in government outlays scheduled to kick in on March 1.

Roughly 85 billion US dollars of spending cuts were set to hit various US governmental departments this year starting on March 1, as agreed by Democrats and Republicans in January to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff."

"That's why it's so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite," he noted.

US lawmakers haven't come together to find a balanced debt reduction deal, so as a consequence the federal government will get the automatic "brutal" spending cuts poised to happen next Friday, Obama charged.

If Congress allows this "meat cleaver" approach to take place, it will jeopardize US military readiness and hamper job-creating investments in education, energy and medical research, he reiterated the message unveiled in his State of the Union address earlier this month.

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