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House Speaker John Boehner arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss the debt crisis showdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House nears debt-limit vote as GOP closes ranks; Senate Dems vow to defeat it tonight

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WASHINGTON - As Thursday's crucial vote neared, Republican leaders convinced a growing number of their fractious rank and file to support a House plan to stave off an unprecedented government default. Many of the chamber's GOP freshmen, crucial to passage, were climbing aboard, but leaders stopped short of claiming victory.

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