House GOP leaders aim to bridge party's divisions to avoid debt-limit faceoff

Speaker John A. Boehner will seek to emerge from a three-day House Republican retreat next week with a diminished opposition inside his party to avoid a showdown in the 11 legislative days that remain before the federal government exhausts its borrowing authority.

House Republicans will begin their retreat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland on Wednesday, still divided over how to raise the federal debt limit, overhaul immigration laws, challenge President Obama’s health care law, and address privacy issues highlighted by National Security Agency surveillance.

But with the passage of a budget in December and a detailed spending bill this month, Mr. Boehner and other Republican leaders have the upper hand in the simmering disputes.

“We have to have party solidarity,” said Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York. “Certainly we are the conservative party. But once consensus is reached, at least we have to allow that consensus to come to the floor for a vote, so John can bargain with Democrats from a position of strength.”

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