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Obama Urges Congress to Support Financial Reform

U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Congress to support the financial reforms that he began enacting three years ago as part of efforts to protect consumers from what he called the "breathtaking irresponsibility" of some on Wall Street.

In his weekly address, Obama accused some congressional Republicans and lobbyists of "waging an all-out battle" to delay and dismantle his reform provisions.

Obama cited reforms that include requiring financial institutions to hold more cash, stripping leaders of failing institutions of big bonuses and the creation of a consumer watchdog that would protect citizens from unfair monetary practices.

Obama added that the nation could not afford to go back to an "era of weak regulation and little oversight" in its financial systems.

In the Republican weekly address, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin blasted Senate Democrats and President Obama for failing to pass a budget.

On Wednesday, the Democratic-led Senate rejected five budget plans for fiscal 2013, including one that mirrored a plan outlined by Obama.

Johnson said it had been over three years since the Senate had passed a budget. He said it was because Senate Democrats "refuse to be held accountable."

Johnson also said Obama had not taken steps to encourage lawmakers to pass a budget.

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