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Deal to avert federal shutdown is likely

Feb. 27, 2011 at 1:19 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Republicans and Democrats appeared Sunday to be near a deal to keep the federal government running for another two weeks.

Democrats are prepared to accept $4 billion in new cuts to avert a shutdown looming Friday, ABC News reported.

The House Republican bill slashes $1.2 billion for fiscal 2011 from education, transportation and other programs that President Barack Obama already wants to cut from the 2012 budget, as well as $2.7 billion in congressional earmarks.

The House is expected to vote Tuesday, with Senate action to follow.

In a speech he is to deliver Sunday night to the National Association of Religious Broadcasters in Nashville, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says the 2012 budget must restrain entitlement programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

"To not address entitlement programs, as is the case with the budget the president has put forward, would be an economic and moral failure," the speaker says.

Obama, in his weekly address Saturday, said, "For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail. Both Democratic and Republican leaders … have said they believe it's important to keep the government running while we work together on a plan to reduce our long-term deficit."

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