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WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaders of the House and Senate say votes could come as early as this evening on the deficit-cutting plan that’s expected to avert a government default on its debts.

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the House vote will come first. One House Republican says lawmakers will know by this afternoon whether Speaker John Boehner has the votes to pass it in the House, where conservatives have been more resistant to the compromise.

But despite resistance from liberals and conservatives, momentum appears to be building in support of the plan.

Vice President Joe Biden has been on Capitol Hill today to sell the plan in separate meetings with House and Senate Democrats. President Barack Obama sent out a video message to Democratic lawmakers, saying that it’s been a “long and messy process”– and that “as with any compromise, the outcome is far from satisfying.”

Among the Republicans who plan to vote no are South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who says it “locks us into more debt.” Republicans are also voicing concerns about potential cuts to defense spending.

The legislation would slice more than $2 trillion from federal spending over a decade and permit the nation’s $14.3 trillion borrowing cap to rise by up to $2.4 trillion.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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