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White House says up to Congress to avoid government shutdown

A traffic sign is seen near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A traffic sign is seen near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - President Barack Obama likely will meet with Congressional leaders ahead of the looming September 30 deadline to keep the government funded, but a White House spokesman made it clear on Monday that it is up to Congress to come to an agreement to avoid a government shutdown.

"It is likely that the president will meet with leaders. I don't have a time for that or a date for that," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling with Obama aboard Air Force One to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.

"But here's the bottom line: Congress needs to act responsibly in order to ensure the government does not shut down," Carney said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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