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Obama says budget cuts not a threat to world economy

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says lawmakers have “the opportunity to do the right thing” and avert large budget cuts before a March 1 deadline.

Despite little sign of a deal emerging with Republicans, Obama says he does not believe it is inevitable that the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will take effect. He says finding a way to avert the cuts should be a “no-brainer” for congressional lawmakers.

Obama spoke in the Oval Office following a meeting with the Japanese prime minister.

The president says unlike earlier Washington fiscal fights, he does not believe the economic impact of the budget cuts will threaten the world financial market. But he says if the U.S. economy slows as a result of the cuts, the global economy will slow as well.