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Fiscal fatigue grabs capital as Obama preps speech

January 17, 2014 • National News


FILE – In this Dec. 31, 2013, file photo, a woman looks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. After last fall’s tumultuous, bitterly partisan debt ceiling and government shutdown battles, a sense of fiscal fatigue seems to be setting in among many Washington policymakers as President Barack Obama prepares for his fifth State of the Union address later this month. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — After last fall’s tumultuous, bitterly partisan debt ceiling and government shutdown fights, a sense of fiscal fatigue seems to be setting in among many Washington policymakers as President Barack Obama prepares for his fifth State of the Union address later this month.

A declining U.S. budget deficit, still-accommodative Federal Reserve and a small-bore budget deal negotiated last month — given final approval Thursday in Congress and signed by Obama on Friday — are helping to temper partisan rhetoric in the short term as attention in Washington shifts to the approaching midterm elections.

The recovery from the deep recession of 2007-2009 has been one of the slowest in history and still has a ways to go, especially in terms of regaining lost jobs. That was driven home by a Labor Department report last Friday that U.S. employers added just 74,000 jobs last month, far fewer than had been forecast and the smallest monthly gain in three years.

The overall jobless rate dropped to 6.7 percent from 7 percent in November, the lowest level since October Login to read more

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