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Obama: budget cuts painful but necessary

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama Friday hailed a hard-fought deal with Republicans to avert a government shutdown, saying the budget cuts he agreed to were painful but necessary to cut the huge deficit.

Obama delivered remarks in the Blue Room of the White House against a backdrop of the soaring white obelisk of the Washington monument on the National Mall.

"Tomorrow, I am pleased to announce, that the Washington monument, as well as the entire federal government, will be open for business.

"This agreement between Democrats and Republicans on behalf of all Americans is on a budget that invests in our future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history.

"Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful ... and I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances.

"But beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America to compete for new jobs."