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Obama Calls for End to Political Gridlock

President Barack Obama's weekly address from the White House, January 28, 2012.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called on members of Congress to end gridlock and pass rules that would stem the influence of money in politics.

In his weekly Saturday address, Obama said he has been the target of obstructionism by members of Congress over his nominees to judgeships and public service positions. He said the American people deserve better than "gridlock and games," and he called on Congress to pass a rule mandating an up-or-down vote on all nominees within 90 days.

Obama also called for legislation that bans elected officials from owning stock in industries they impact. He said it should also ban people who obtain campaign contributions for Congress from lobbying members of Congress.

The president said it is time for leaders in Washington to "start tackling the issues that really matter," such as mending the economy.

In the Republican address, Senator Marco Rubio said there is a growing gap between the rich and poor, and he blamed the situation on the president.

He said President Obama is practicing divisive politics with a message that the only way for some people to climb the economic ladder is for others to be pulled down. He said the best way to improve the economy is to embrace the American free enterprise system.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.