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White House says Republicans moving away from compromise on debt limit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday that the House of Representatives had moved away from trying to reach a deal to avoid a debt default with a plan to link an increase of the U.S. debt ceiling to cuts to President Barack Obama's healthcare program.

"House Republicans have decided to pursue a path away from the center, away from compromise, in favor of voting on a piece of legislation that they know will not become law," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

"A faction of the House of Representatives, the House Republicans, is driving this thing in the wrong direction, (and) could bring us closer to a wholly unnecessary and damaging shutdown of the government," he said.

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; editing by Christopher Wilson)