AP Top News at 5:09 p.m. EST

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WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama pressured Republicans in Congress on Monday to extend a payroll tax cut, saying the economic recovery is “still fragile” and middle class families need the money. “My message to Congress is this: Keep your word to the American people and don’t raise taxes on them right now. Now’s not the time to slam on the brakes. Now’s the time to step on the gas,” Obama said at the White House. He said despite a decline in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent in November, “our recovery is still fragile” and the nation’s economy could be hurt by economic turbulence in Europe.

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