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Obama praises vote to lift debt limit, says it removes threat of default 'once and for all'

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is praising a vote in Congress to lift the debt ceiling and says it removes the threat of default, in his words, "once and for all."

The must-pass legislation cleared the Senate on Wednesday and had already passed the House. That means the bill is ready for Obama to sign.

Obama says he's pleased Democrats and Republicans came together to pay for spending they've already incurred. He says America's credit must not be used as leverage or an extortion tool.

In a statement, Obama says he hopes the vote puts an end to brinkmanship in politics so the nation can focus on creating jobs and strengthening the economy. He says lawmakers should be focused on those priorities rather than wasting time creating new crises.

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