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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama discussed upcoming budget talks with top Senate and House Democrats before heading to New York City.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama that the president reiterated a shared commitment to focus on growing the economy and creating jobs for middle-class families.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and Chris Van Hollen, the House Budget Committee's top Democrat, were on the call.

A larger group of Republican and Democratic senators and House members next week is to begin hammering out a budget deal to fund government operations through next September. A temporary funding measure that allowed the government to fully reopen last week is set to expire in early January.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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