Bush urges temporary bill to keep gov't running

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WASHINGTON, Sep 24 (Reuters) President George W Bush urged lawmakers today to pass a temporary spending bill to keep the government running, amid a lack of consensus on the budget for the new fiscal year beginning October 1.

''If Congress doesn't get its work done in a week, the government is not going to have the funding to continue important services,'' Bush told business leaders. ''I don't believe the American people should be denied those services because Congress can't get its work done.'' Seeking to gain the upper hand in a budget fight with the Democratic-led Congress, Bush criticised lawmakers for failing to pass annual spending bills with only a week left before the start of the 2008 fiscal year.

He said that lawmakers should pass a stop-gap measure that would keep the government running for a set period of time while negotiations continue over the budget.

''Congress needs to pass these annual spending bills and if they need more time, I urge them to pass a clean continuing resolution,'' Bush said.

Bush has threatened to veto a series of appropriations bills to keep domestic spending within his limit of 933 billion dollars for fiscal 2008. Democrats have sketched out a spending plan which would exceed that by about 22 billion dollars.

Reuters GT DB2032

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