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TN Republicans at odds over shutdown blame

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By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam and fellow Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly appear to be at odds about who will be blamed for the shutdown of the federal government.

The Republican caucus in the state Senate on Tuesday sent a letter to President Barack Obama, claiming that the president and his Democratic allies in the U.S. Senate are behind the "maneuver" to close down parts of the federal government to protect the new health care law. The letter was signed by all but two of the chamber's 26 Republicans.

Haslam said last week that he expects people will assign at least partial blame to Republicans for the shutdown, and that the focus on the issue has prevented the GOP from capitalizing on the early stumbles of the president's health care plan.

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