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Obama to promote his agenda to House Democrats

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 7, 2013 at 9:24 a.m.

— President Barack Obama is promoting his second-term agenda to House Democrats, eager to keep them unified as a bulwark against a Republican majority on issues as diverse as the economy, immigration and guns.

Obama was meeting with Democratic lawmakers Thursday during their retreat in Lansdowne, Va., a day after he held a private session with Senate Democrats at their off-campus conference in Annapolis, Md.

The meetings with legislators from his own party come just days before Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday to a joint session of Congress. This week's meetings have served as something of a preamble for that nationally televised speech.

Obama was to deliver public remarks to the House members and then take questions in a private session, officials said.

White House officials say that Obama's top priority is job creation and that he will make a case for fiscal policies that encourage economic growth. Setting up a contrast with Republicans who are insisting on spending cuts, not tax increases, to stanch federal red ink, Obama told reporters Tuesday, "We can't just cut our way to prosperity."

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