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Freshmen House member, raise their hands during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 28, 2011, as they respond to a reporter's question as to how many previously opposed the bill on raising the debt ceiling proposed by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and have now switched to support it. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours before a crucial vote, Republican leaders pleaded with their fractious rank and file Thursday to support a House plan to stave off an unprecedented government default. The vote would bring President Barack Obama and congressional leaders a step closer to endgame efforts before Tuesday’s deadline.

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