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Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., center, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, following the weekly Republican policy meeting. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are showing far more flexibility than their tea party-backed House colleagues as Washington policymakers seek to steer the government away from a first-ever default on its financial obligations.

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