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Obama, House Democrats meet on debt crisis

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U.S. President Barack Obama has met House Democrats at the White House, part of an urgent drive to prevent a debt default and end a 15-day partial government shutdown.

Emerging from the talks, U.S. House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, says she is optimistic the default can be averted. But she called House Republicans’ coming vote on a fiscal bill a "vote to default", and said the Senate plan is preferable.

The House fiscal vote will take place on Tuesday night. The bill will keep the government operating until the middle of December and let the Treasury borrow money until the beginning of February.

Republican representative Devin Nunes says the latest plan would not include previous efforts to delay a tax on medical devices, but would include new changes to the "Obamacare" health reforms for Congress and high-ranking Obama administration officials.

Meanwhile, a key panel that was scheduled to debate a House bill has postponed its meeting. The panel is normally the last step before legislation is sent to the House floor for debate and passage. It’s not clear when the panel would reschedule the hearing or why it has been postponed.


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