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    Obama: "No Winners" in Budget Deal

    U.S. President Barack Obama says there are "no winners" in the bill reached by Congress to avoid a potential debt default and fund the government.

    Speaking Thursday at the White House, Mr. Obama said the impasse that sparked a 16-day partial government shutdown "inflicted completely, unnecessary damage" on the U.S. economy.

    He said the American people are "completely fed up with Washington," and it is time to earn back their trust.



    "Let us be clear, there are no winners here. The last few weeks have inflicted completely, unnecessary damage on our economy. We don't know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believed it slowed our growth. We know that families have gone without paychecks or services they depend on. We know that potential home buyers have gotten fewer mortgages and small business loans have been put on hold. We know that consumers have cut back on spending and that half of all CEOs say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months."



    Thousands of U.S. federal employees have returned to work, after Congress approved a compromise bill late Wednesday to fund the government. Mr. Obama immediately signed the bill into law.

    The bill keeps the government running until at least January 15 and raises the borrowing limit to put off the risk of default until February 7. In the meantime, lawmakers will negotiate spending cuts.



    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and his Republican colleague, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, crafted the bill a day before the government's borrowing authority expired.

    If the debt ceiling was not raised, the United States would lose the authority to borrow money to keep paying its bills.

    Standard & Poor's estimated the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy, and the Fitch credit rating agency warned it is reviewing its AAA rating on U.S. government debt for a possible downgrade.

    The government shut down on October 1 when the Senate rejected House demands to defund or delay President Obama's health care law as part of a spending bill. The president said he would not negotiate changes in the law until the government reopened.

    House Speaker John Boehner said House Republicans fought with everything they had to force negotiations on the law, nicknamed "Obamacare." Boehner said his party will continue to push for legislative oversight and highlight perceived flaws in the plan.

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    Hamada Elsaram
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