LANDOVER, Maryland (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday he believes U.S. lawmakers are close to a budget deal but warned there is a chance an impasse could lead to a government shutdown.
Obama weighed in on the budget debate at the end of a speech at a UPS shipping facility in suburban Washington. He said both Democrats and Republicans are close to an agreement, but that there are still differences to work out.
Given the encouraging news earlier in the day about a slight decline in the U.S. jobless rate, Obama said, "It would be the height of irresponsibility to halt our economic momentum because of the same old Washington politics."
"We know that a compromise is within reach. And we also know that if these budget negotiations break down, it could shut down the government and jeopardize our economic recovery."
(Reporting by Steve Holland and David Alexander; editing by Jackie Frank)