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Washington (AFP) – The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on its own bill to end a government shutdown and debt ceiling standoff, Republican lawmakers said Tuesday, just two days before Washington exhausts its borrowing authority.

The Republican plan is similar to a measure being worked up in the Senate, which would fund government through January 15 while extending the debt ceiling to February 7, according to Congressman Darrell Issa.

But he said the House bill will include provisions aimed at chipping away at President Barack Obama’s health care law by delaying for two years a medical device tax that helps fund the reforms.

“We’re today going to vote a bill that we believe the Senate can accept,” Issa said.

“Now if the Senate wants to say ‘my way or the highway,’ then I suggest that Senate Republicans not go along with that strategy.”

The U.S. federal government has been partially shut down for just over two weeks since Congress failed to agree a budget for the new fiscal year, and the Treasury has warned that it will could hit its debt ceiling any time from Thursday.

Former Navy Secretary Sean O'Keefe

Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Almost 500 national security experts — including 22 four-star military officers — slammed Donald Trump in a public letter released Thursday, calling him unfit for his role as commander in chief and endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The letter, simply addressed "To Our Fellow Citizens," is a bipartisan effort signed by prominent Republicans and Democrats alike who say they "fear" for their country under Trump. Signatories include former Navy Secretary and NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, who served in both Bush administrations, and former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, and Ash Carter.

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