hails U.S. budget compromise, says it has funds needed for Ebola
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[December 13, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.
President Barack Obama on Friday hailed a budget compromise that many of
his fellow Democrats opposed, saying it is a product of both sides
"This is by definition a compromise bill," Obama told reporters as
he met senior aides to discuss the U.S. fight against the Ebola
virus. "This is what's produced when you have the divided government
that the American people voted for."
In the negotiations, Obama found himself at odds with a key
Democratic loyalist in Congress, Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the
Democratic minority in the House of Representatives.
Pelosi wanted pulled out of the legislation a provision that weakens
some of the Wall Street reforms that Obama engineered after the
2008-09 financial meltdown. While Obama opposed the Wall Street
reform provision as well, he did not actively fight to get it
excluded to avoid disrupting the compromise talks.
"There are a couple provisions in this bill that I really do not
like," Obama said. On the other hand, he said, it includes funding
needed for his signature healthcare law, fighting climate change,
expanding early childhood education and confronting the Ebola virus.
"Had I been able to draft my own legislation, get it passed without
any Republican votes, I suspect it would be slightly different,"
Obama said. "That is not the circumstance we find ourselves in and I
think what the American people very much are looking for is
responsible governance and the willingness to compromise."
At his daily news briefing, White House spokesman Josh Earnest
sought to mend fences with Pelosi after the strains that emerged
between her and Obama on Thursday. He said none of the central
legislative achievements of the Obama presidency could have been
done without Pelosi's help.
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"The president is confident that the strong working relationship and
the effective, productive working relationship that we have had over
the last six years will continue for the next two," said Earnest,
referring to the end of Obama's tenure.
Obama said the $1.01 trillion legislation that passed the House of
Representatives and appeared headed toward approval by the Senate
contains funds necessary for the fight against Ebola.
"We've got to stay on this," he said of the Ebola outbreak in West
Africa. "This is not a fight that is going to go away any time
(Reporting By Steve Holland)
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