WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to pass a short-term spending cut and tax reform package as a way to stave off the looming March 1 sequestration cuts that he said would be economically damaging to the U.S. economy.

“We can’t cut our way to prosperity .... This doesn’t have to happen,” Obama said in a speech from the White House that again raised the prospect of tax curbs that could hurt the muni bond market.

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