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Obama 'encouraged' by Republican remarks on budget plans

US President Barack Obama addresses a group of business leaders at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable in Washington, DC on December 3, 2014President Barack Obama said Wednesday he was “encouraged” by statements from Republican leaders as the deadline to pass a new budget approaches, amid fears of another US government shutdown. In October last year, the federal government was paralyzed for 16 days when lawmakers and Obama failed to agree a spending plan. “I’ve been encouraged by recent statements by Speaker (John) Boehner and Leader (Mitch) McConnell about their interest in preventing another government shutdown,” he told business leaders. “But the federal government budgeting process generally is — how should I put it?

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