Aug 27, 6:15 PM EDT

Obama cites strong economic quarter, calls on Congress to pass budget without drama



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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is highlighting good economic news during a period of wildly erratic stock markets to make the case the United States remains an anchor of global strength.

Obama is in New Orleans to underscore progress since Hurricane Katrina. He used the moment Thursday to note the U.S. economy staged a far bigger rebound last quarter than first thought, growing at an annual rate of 3.7 percent.

He is also using the economic news to call on Congress to protect the momentum by passing a budget for the next fiscal year before Sept. 30.

Obama is warning lawmakers not to keep the economy hostage over what he describes as ideological demands. He also says Congress will eventually pass the budget, so "let's just do it without too much drama."

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