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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the current showdown isn’t about Obamacare or the government shutdown, but about the constitutional balance of power between the president and Congress.
Democrats ridiculed the legislation to create a working group of lawmakers, likening it to a supercommittee that failed two years ago to reach a compromise on measures to cut future spending.
At the same time, there were signs of early maneuvering for political position in case the group is established.
"They claim they want to talk about deficit reduction, but their bill immediately rules out talking about closing tax loopholes to help get our fiscal house in order," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md..
"It’s just more of the same from Speaker Boehner and his tea party caucus."
Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Andrew Taylor, Alan Fram, Martin Crutsinger, Julie Pace and Chuck Babington contributed to this story.
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