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House Republicans shift Obamacare to U.S. debt limit fight

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the press after a House Republican meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington September 26, 2013
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to the press after a House Republican meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington September 26, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday he believes lawmakers will avert a government shutdown, though he said Republicans will demand other concessions before agreeing to keep the government funded.

The Democratic-controlled Senate was expected to approve a government spending bill on Saturday, after stripping out a Republican plan to defund the 2010 U.S. healthcare reform law known as "Obamacare."

Republican leaders now believe the fight over Obamacare should be part of the talks to raise the government's borrowing authority, known as the debt ceiling, Republican U.S. Representative Tom Cole said after a caucus meeting.

Lawmakers have until next Tuesday to agree to a spending bill, or much of the government will shut down.

"I do not see that happening," Boehner told reporters.

(Reporting By Richard Cowan, Rachelle Younglai and Kim Dixon; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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