Obama Plots New Budget Talks With Republicans

7:14 PM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
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David Jackson, USA TODAY

President Obama began laying out his strategy for new budget talks Friday, saying that efforts to cut the budget should not short-change essential programs like education.

"We've got the resources to be fiscally responsible and invest in our future," Obama said at a high school in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

The president planned to speak later at a pair of Democratic Party fundraisers in Brooklyn.

Obama and New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio also made a stop at a Brooklyn landmark restaurant -- Junior's -- to order some of its cheesecake.

"We'll be eating it on Air Force One," Obama said after ordering a plain and a strawberry cheesecake, boxed separately.

Before leaving the White House, Obama also discussed upcoming budget negotiations with Republicans in a conference call with Democratic congressional leaders.

"The president thanked the leaders for their efforts to find solutions to the budget challenges and reiterated a shared principle that we should focus first and foremost on how we can grow our economy and create good jobs with good wages for middle class families," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Last week's bill to end the government shutdown and extend the debt ceiling authorized new budget negotiations between congressional Republicans and Democrats.

Obama's Democratic phone conference included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada; Senate Budget Committee chair Patty Murray, D-Wash.; House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal.; and House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

In his remarks at Brooklyn's Pathways in Technology Early College High School, Obama criticized Republicans for emphasizing budget cuts over programs that can help the middle class, particularly education.

"We don't have to choose between growth and fiscal responsibility," Obama said. "We've got to do both."

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