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Conservatives Head To White House For Shutdown Discussion

Conservative House Republicans head to the White House Thursday afternoon to huddle with President Bush for a discussion about the potential spending fight with congressional Democrats.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, join GOP Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, John Campbell of California, Mike Pence of Indiana and Tom Price of Georgia for a session with the president.

One 147 Republican lawmakers have already signed a pledge to sustain Bush's veto of any congressional spending measure that exceeds his initial budget request. And these were some of the same folks who were chattering about the potential for a government shutdown if majority Democrats overshoot the president's spending targets.

But don't expect these guys to come out with guns ablazin' Thursday. After all, White House counselor Ed Gillespie warned House Republicans over the summer to temper their rhetoric about the impending fight over federal spending. Most lawmakers have been mum about the prospects ever since.

The House approved legislation Wednesday to fund the government through mid-November, putting lawmakers officially on the clock for a showdown over the budget. Developing...

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