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Hastert Assures No Shutdown

House Speaker Dennis Hastert says Republicans have no intention of shutting down the government.

He told CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that he expects Congress to pass a temporary spending measure that will keep the government operating until a budget deal is reached.

"It's not our intent to have a government shutdown," Hastert said. "As a matter of fact, we'll have completed most of our work in the House. We've passed all the bills save one, and that will be up next week."

The government's fiscal year ends September 30th.

Hastert says Republicans believe they can cut taxes and balance the budget without dipping into the Social Security trust fund.

House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt, also appearing on Face the Nation, called for congressional leaders to sit down with the president as soon as possible for a budget summit. He says Congress is wasting time passing bills that the president is likely to veto.

"I absolutely think that the way to get this done is to sit done with the president and with the leaders on both sides concerned," Gephardt said. "That's what should have happened six months ago."

President Clinton has suggested negotiating a budget deal that would offer smaller tax cuts than Republicans want.