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White House says talking to lawmakers to avoid a government shutdown

Tourists walk past the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Obama administration officials have been talking to lawmakers on ways of avoiding a government shutdown, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday.

He told a news briefing that President Barack Obama does not want Congress to pass budget legislation with “ideological riders,” a reference to the push by some Republican lawmakers to cut funding for Planned Parenthood in any legislation to fund the government beyond Sept. 30.

“I can confirm ... that there have been conversations between White House officials and members of Congress on Capitol Hill to discuss the need to avoid a government shutdown,” Earnest said.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Mohammad Zargham