Obama asks Congress for short-term budget fix

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WASHINGTON — President Obama is urging Congress to pass a smaller set of spending cuts and tax changes while they hash out a broader budget deal.

Lawmakers face a March 1 deadline when automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, already postponed once, take effect.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says he still wants a comprehensive package that deals with the debt. But he says that takes time. He’s asking lawmakers to move forward with a short-term deal as they continue working on a longer-term solution.

He says if the cuts aren’t averted, the military, middle-class families and the economy could suffer.

In the Republican address, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says the U.S. must ramp up domestic energy production by streamlining regulations, investing in research and approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

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