House speaker changes course on budget negotiation

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – House Speaker Chuck Kleckley has reversed course and thrown his support behind bipartisan budget negotiations in the House between Democratic leaders and a group of conservative Republicans. 

Kleckley, a Republican, previously was supporting a plan that involved maneuvering the budget through the House and working with the Senate on a final version that includes patchwork financing sought by Gov. Bobby Jindal. 

That approach ran into widespread opposition from House lawmakers, who say they should have a hand in crafting the 2013-14 budget. 

Kleckley announced his position change Thursday, calling negotiations a “shining moment for the House.” 

Conservative Republicans want to strip piecemeal financing from ongoing programs, and Democrats want to rework tax breaks to drum up new money for spending. They are working on a plan that would incorporate both.

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