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House GOP offers debt limit hike, end to shutdown in package with spending cuts

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By ALAN FRAM, AP

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.