U.S. President Barack Obama used unusually strong
words Wednesday to criticize conservative Republicans in Congress,
whom he blamed for holding up economic progress and undermining the
"With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball," Obama told a cheering audience at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
He accused a "sizeable group of Republican lawmakers" of harming the fragile US economic recovery in 2011, when they risked a bond default by blocking an increase in the government's borrowing limit before reaching a last-minute deal with Democrats.
"This same group has insisted on leaving in place a meat cleaver called the sequester that has cost jobs, harmed growth, hurt our military and gutted investments in American education and science and medical research," Obama said.
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