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U.S. government standoff had 'no winners,' Obama says

10/17/2013 07:46 EDT | Updated 12/17/2013 05:12 EST
U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that the government shutdown and the standoff over the country's debt ceiling had "no winners," but that America remains the bedrock of the world's economy and will recover.

The standoff between Democrats and Republicans "encouraged our enemies, it's emboldened our competitors and it's depressed our friends that look to us for steady leadership," Obama said during a White House news briefing.

The deal approved late Wednesday by Congress averted a default hours before the government reached its $16.7 trillion US debt limit. It also ended a government shutdown that had sent hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job starting Oct. 1.

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"There are no winners here," he said. "These last two weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy."

'We'll bounce back from this'

In hopes of averting another standoff early next year when the temporary measure runs out, Congress' four top budget writers met over breakfast Thursday to begin two months of budget talks. Obama urged them to put aside partisan differences and brinkmanship tactics to find common ground.

Obama also sought to ensure governments and investors around the world that the "full faith and credit of the United States remains unquestioned."

"We'll bounce back from this," Obama said. "We always do."

He called for three steps to a U.S. recovery from what he called the "manufactured crisis."

- A "balanced approach" during responsible budget talks in the coming weeks. 

- A fix for America's "broken immigration system" by the end of the year.

- A farm bill.

Obama said all three could be finished by the end of the year.

The president closed by thanking the government workers who had been furloughed during the shutdown. He said the shutdown helped show how important the government is in the lives of Americans. "So let's work together to make government work better instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely trying to make it work worse," he said.

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