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Excerpts from Obama's session with House Republicans

Indiana Rep. Mike PenceWisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan: "Why not start freezing spending now? And would you support a line-item veto and helping us get a vote on it in the House?"

Obama: "Now, the reason that I'm not proposing the discretionary freeze take into effect this year . . . is, again, I am just listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. And what they will say is that if you either increased taxes or significantly lowered spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that that would have a de-stimulative effect and potentially you'd see a lot of folks losing business, more folks potentially losing jobs."

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz: "When you stood up before the American people multiple times and said you would broadcast the health care debates on C-SPAN, you didn't. I was disappointed, and I think a lot of Americans were disappointed. You said you weren't going to allow lobbyists in the senior-most positions within your administration, and yet you did. I applauded you when you said it, and [was] disappointed when you didn't."

Obama said Chaffetz had a "legitimate complaint" about not putting health care negotiations on C-SPAN. "In terms of lobbyists, I can stand here unequivocally and say that there has not been an administration who was tougher on making sure that lobbyists weren't participating in the administration than any administration that's come before us."

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