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Jan 23, 5:18 PM EST

Obama says he plans to partner with mayors to make progress in midst of Washington gridlock

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says cities are engines of America's economic growth, and he plans to partner with them to make progress during his last two years in office.

Obama hosted mayors at the White House Friday during the 82nd winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

In the midst of Washington gridlock, the president says cities have been the place where change happens fastest. He cited the increase in the minimum wage in several cities across the country. Congress has refused to take up his call to raise the federal minimum wage.

Obama says mayors "don't have the luxury of just yakking instead of doing."

Obama then said he would answer questions from the mayors, but the media had to leave the room first.

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