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White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that he's confident House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., won't allow the government to shut down next month, when temporary funding for the government expires.

A government shutdown is "always" a possibility in this era of divided government, "particularly when you consider the dysfunction and disorganization that has run rampant in the House Republican Conference" lately, Earnest said. "But there is a new leader, and I continue to be confident that he doesn't want to be responsible for a government shutdown six weeks into the job."

Former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, negotiated a two-year budget blueprint with congressional Democrats and the White House that established overall spending levels and raised the debt ceiling before handing the gavel over to Ryan. But Congress still has to delineate how to dole out the pot across government departments and agencies before the stopgap measure keeping the government running expires on Dec. 11.

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