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Obama calls business leaders, governors about debt ceiling, shutdown

U.S. President Barack Obama finishes a statement to the media about the government shutdown in the briefing room of the White House in Washi
U.S. President Barack Obama finishes a statement to the media about the government shutdown in the briefing room of the White House in Washi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama spoke by phone to a group of about 150 leaders of major businesses on Friday afternoon to give them an update on talks with Congress on lifting the debt ceiling ahead of a default deadline next week, the White House said.

"The president reiterated that his first order of business is to urge Congress to reopen the government and remove the threat of default, and then he is willing to engage with Congress on a long-term budget," the White House said.

Obama also spoke with a group of 25 state governors about the government shutdown, now in its 11th day, and its impact on state budgets and the economy.

"He argued that the prolonged shutdown is having adverse consequences on consumer confidence and businesses, and is hurting local economies across the country that rely on tourism at national parks and monuments," the White House said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; editing by Jackie Frank)

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