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Obama urges governors to lobby their congressional delegations

  • McClatchy Newspapers
  • Published Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at 1:35 p.m.

President Obama told the National Governors Association -- meeting today at the White House -- that members should lobby their members of Congress to avoid the looming series of spending cuts known as the sequester.

Congress could put an end to the cuts, Obama said, with a little bit of compromise. He wants Republicans -- who are opposed to raising tax revenue -- to accept a mix of spending cuts and tax revenue.

"While you are in town, I hope that you speak with your congressional delegation and remind them in no uncertain terms exactly what is at stake and exactly who is at risk," Obama told the governors. "These cuts do not have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little bit of compromise."

He noted that compromise would mean Democrats need to "acknowledge that we're gonna have to make modest reforms in Medicare if we want the program there for future generations and if we hope to maintain our ability to invest in critical things like education, research and infrastructure."

But, he added, "We also need Republicans to adopt the same approach to tax reform that Speaker Boehner championed just two months ago."

He accused Republicans of instead putting their reelection interests ahead of everything else:

"This town has to get past its obsession with focusing on the next election rather than the next generation," Obama told the governors. "At some point we need to do some governing."

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