The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

July 26, 2013

Obama: House GOP budget is 'bad bargain'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama says the House Republican budget is a "bad bargain" for the middle class.

Obama says the House GOP wants to cut spending on education, science and clean energy when the country should be investing in those sectors.

He says cutting back in those areas would be like waving a "white flag of surrender" in a global economy.

The president is making his third speech on the economy in two days. His pivot to the economy comes as the White House seeks to generate momentum ahead of fall deadlines on the budget and the nation's debt ceiling.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

It's hard to find anyone who thinks President Barack Obama's series of heavily promoted economic speeches will be the flash point that unclogs the system in Washington — including the president.

A day after he kicked off the tour in Illinois and Missouri, Obama was traveling Thursday to a seaport in Jacksonville, Fla., to yet again deride the wide gulf between his vision for a new American prosperity driven by a burgeoning middle class and the intense gridlock snarling up Congress.

"With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball," Obama said Wednesday in Galesburg, Ill. "And I am here to say this needs to stop."

But even Obama knows little will change unless pressure from Americans refocuses the conversation. He acknowledged as much on Monday, as he offered supporters of Organizing for Action, the nonprofit backing Obama's agenda, a preview of his efforts to come.

"Here's the thing: It will be a pretty good speech," Obama said to scattered laughter. "But as we've learned, I've given some pretty good speeches before and then things still get stuck here in Washington."

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