WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he doesn't think congressional Republicans will force a government shutdown in this year's budget fight.

Obama told a news conference Friday that the public would not understand a budget confrontation that leads to a cutoff of government services that could weaken the economy's recovery. He said he assumes Republicans won't choose that path.

Obama and his Democratic allies favor higher spending for federal agencies next year than Republicans prefer.

Financing for federal agencies expires Sept. 30. Congress is expected to pass temporary funding legislation to give the two sides time to seek a deal.