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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., second from left, and fellow Senate Republican Senators, leave a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — With compromise talks at a vituperative standstill, Senate Republicans unexpectedly offered Tuesday to hand President Barack Obama new powers to avert the first-ever government default threatened for Aug. 2.

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