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The ice breaks; fiscal talks set

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Obama will meet with 18 House Republicans at the White House on Thursday as leaders of both parties intensify their efforts to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17.

Among the participants will be the House GOP’s budget chief, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), who on Wednesday tried to sell conservatives on a two-step plan to hike the debt limit and reopen the government long enough for Congress to pass entitlement reforms.

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