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Congress must take steps to boost economy: Obama

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2011 (AFP) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to turn its attention next to boosting the US economy through measures to aid job creation and increase consumer confidence.

“We can’t balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have borne the biggest brunt of this recession,” Obama told journalists just after Senate passed a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

“Everyone has to chip in. It’s only fair. That’s the principle I’ll be fighting for during the next phase of this process,” Obama said in a statement in the White House’s Rose Garden.

The president rolled out a list of measures which he said he hoped US lawmakers would focus on once they return from their summer recess in September.

Cutting red-tape which has strangled small businesses, using private companies to repair the nation’s infrastructure, and passing a series of trade deals stalled in Congress were some ways of stimulating the economy, he said.

“When Congress gets back from recess, I will urge them to immediately take some.. bipartisan steps that will make a difference,” the president said.

“They will create a climate where businesses can hire, where folks have more money in their pockets to spend. Where people who are out of work can find good jobs. We need to begin by extending tax cuts for middle class families,” Obama said.

And he vowed: “In the coming months, I’ll continue also to fight for what the American people care most about. New jobs, higher wages, and faster economic growth.”

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