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Obama leads push to hike US government spending

PRESIDENT Barack Obama and his aides are stepping up a push for further government spending to boost the economy as signs grow of the recovery’s fragility.

The White House is calling for Congress to urgently pass measures to extend jobless benefits, aid cash-strapped states and provide targeted tax breaks to encourage research and development by businesses.

Senate Democrats have already introduced legislation that would renew expiring unemployment benefits, and extend business and individual tax breaks. They would offset some of the bill’s costs by raising taxes on hedge fund managers and other steps.

Meanwhile Republicans have cast the administration’s policies as fiscally reckless.