As Capital Looks to Avert Shutdown, Default Looms

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Republican leaders and the Obama administration are looking to cut a deal that avoids a government shutdown in October while facing an even bigger and economically risky fight in November and December over the nation's debt ceiling.

An agreement to keep the government operating at current spending levels temporarily would head off a politically costly disruption of federal services. But it would still leave a clash looming, like the one that roiled the economy two years ago, over a possible government default. Neither party has come up with a way out of a debt showdown.

The coming budget fights mark a new season of uncertainty, which has emerged as an annual rite in Washington. Moreover, Republicans are divided on their strategy, complicating the work for House Speaker John Boehner.

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