Obama blames Republicans for debt panel failure

WASHINGTON Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:01pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama blamed Republicans on Monday for a congressional committee's failure to reach a deficit-cutting deal and vowed to veto any attempt to water down automatic budget cuts that would kick in by early 2013.

Obama, seeking to calm jittery financial markets, said the United States was not facing an imminent threat of default -- as it did last August -- and that "one way or another" there would be at least $2.2 trillion in deficit cuts over 10 years.

He urged lawmakers to redouble efforts to agree on further deficit-cutting measures, telling reporters: "They still have a year to figure it out."

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Alister Bull)

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