Obama welcomes end to standoff, urges Congress to change its ways

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 2:00pm EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the partial government shutdown "inflicted unnecessary damage" on the U.S. economy and hurt America's credibility around the world.

And now that it's over, Obama says leaders in Washington should focus on a budget, immigration reform and a farm bill.

The president laid out his agenda at the White House this morning, hours after signing a bill reopening the government and averting a default.

He also decried the partisan rancor that led to the 16-day partial shutdown and brought the nation to the brink of default. He says the nation's credit rating was jeopardized, economic growth and hiring slowed and federal workers were deprived of paychecks because of "yet another self-inflicted crisis."

Obama says the American people "are completely fed up with Washington" and the way business is done in the capital must change.

The president says the first matter Congress has to deal with is reaching a budget agreement so there won't be another standoff early next year when the temporary measure runs out.

Congressional negotiators started discussing that this morning, when Congress' four top budget writers met over breakfast.

%@AP Links

171-w-31-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP correspondent, with President Barack Obama)--President Barack Obama says the shutdown and default threat have damaged the economy. AP correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. ((opens with actuality)) (17 Oct 2013)

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173-a-07-(President Barack Obama, in remarks)-"fed up with Washington"-President Obama says American frustration with Washington has never been higher. ((longer version of cut in wrap)) (17 Oct 2013)

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168-a-09-(President Barack Obama, in remarks)-"of the year"-President Obama says the post-shutdown agenda should focus on a budget, immigration reform and a farm bill. (17 Oct 2013)

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166-w-34-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent, with Representative Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Budget Committee chairman)--House and Senate negotiators have held their first meeting to try to agree on a budget. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (17 Oct 2013)

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APPHOTO DCJM208: President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Lawmakers Wednesday voted to avoid a financial default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (17 Oct 2013)

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APPHOTO DCSA103: From left, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., wind up outlining their approach to tackling the nation's debt problems in the Senate Reception Room at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. With last-minute legislation passed in Congress that reopened the government and averted a national default, bipartisan budget conferees from both houses of Congress emerge from an initial meeting in the Capitol. (AP Photo/ Scott Applewhite) (17 Oct 2013)

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