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Obama rips GOP for blocking small business aid bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama blasted Senate Republicans on Monday for blocking a small business assistance bill, calling their opposition "pure partisan politics."

The country needs a "full scale attack" on economic sluggishness, he told reporters at the White House.

"While we have taken a series of measures and come a long way ... too many Americans are still looking for work and too many communities are from being whole again," he said.

The president also said his economic team is "hard at work" on a series of new measures designed both to spark short-term hiring and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth.

Among other things, Obama said the administration will continue to push for an extension of middle class tax cuts, new incentives for clean energy research and development and initiatives to help rebuild infrastructure.

Growing economic jitters amid new signs of slow recovery remain a top political issue in the runup to November's midterm elections.

The U.S. economy sputtered to a near stop in the second quarter, according to estimates from the government released Friday, although the slowdown wasn't as bad as many had feared.

The nation's gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, was revised sharply lower to an annual growth rate of 1.6% in the three months ended in June. The initial reading had been a 2.4% growth rate in the period.

--CNN's Alan Silverleib and CNNMoney.com senior writer Chris Isidore contributed to this report.  To top of page

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