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Obama says economy is getting stronger, but says Congress could do accelerate recovery

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says the economy is getting stronger and, quote, "engines are revving a bit louder."

Obama is praising the July hiring and advances by the U.S. economy.

The president cites new data showing that employers added 209,000 jobs last month — the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000.

But Obama says Congress has blocked steps that would maintain that momentum or even accelerate the recovery.

Obama has been pushing legislation to raise the minimum wage and to broadly increase spending on infrastructure projects.

The unemployment rate ticked up in July to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent as more Americans started looking for work.

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