Cruz and Lee talking budget with GOP House members

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By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tea party senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are trying to influence the House debate over passing the federal budget before the government shuts down.

Cruz told reporters Friday that the pair has had "numerous conversations with numerous members of the House." That raises the prospects that they're rallying tea partyers in the House to rebel unless Republicans include a repeal or delay of President Barack Obama's health care law in any budget proposal.

That was the strategy the freshmen senators tried during the Senate's debate over the budget. It exposed a ferocious struggle for control of the GOP but failed to change the outcome.

The Senate voted along party lines Friday to strip the budget plan of an "Obamacare" repeal, then sent the proposal back to the House.

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