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Obama: Economy can’t afford ‘self-inflicted wound’

President Barack Obama pauses during a statement on the fiscal cliff negotiations with congressional leaders in the briefing room of the White House on Friday in Washington. The negotiations are a last-ditch effort to avoid across-the-board first of the year tax increases and deep spending cuts. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is urging Congress to reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, saying the nation “can’t afford a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy.”

Obama said in Saturday’s radio and Internet address that he believes leaders in Congress may be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses before taxes rise and spending cuts take effect at the end of the year.

He urges “Washington politics” to not get in the way of “America’s progress.”

In the Republican address, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said “inaction shouldn’t be an option” and the nation can avoid going over the fiscal cliff if Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate work with Republicans to solve the problem.

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