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GOP’s squabbling raises shutdown fears

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WASHINGTON — In the midst of an international crisis, the prospect of a government shutdown intensified Wednesday as House conservatives balked at Republican leaders’ efforts to pass a spending bill that did not explicitly eliminate funds for President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Conservatives denounced the leadership’s plan as “hocus-pocus.” They held firm on using the threat of shutting down the government as a lever to stop the debut of the law’s online insurance marketplaces on Oct. 1. A vote planned for today was abruptly canceled.

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