House GOP, White House seeking end to budget fight

Associated Press
National Park workers remove barricade at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial as it reopens to the public in Washington
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National Park workers remove a barricade at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial as it reopens to the public in Washington October 17, 2013. The White House moved quickly early on Thursday to get the U.S. government back up and running after a 16-day shutdown, directing hundreds of thousands of workers to return to work. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say House Republicans are offering to pass legislation to avert a default and end the partial government shutdown as part of a package that includes cuts in benefit programs.

Senior aides to Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor outlined the proposal at a late-night White House meeting Thursday with senior administration officials.

In addition to ending the shutdown and increasing the debt limit, the proposal includes an easing of the across-the-board spending cuts that began taking effect a year ago, and replacing them with curbs in benefit programs that Obama himself has backed.

Among them is a plan to raise the cost of Medicare for better-off beneficiaries.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss private deliberations.

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