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Pawlenty: Reject Budget Bill That Avoids Shutdown

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Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Event March 7, 2011 in Waukee, Iowa. (credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Event March 7, 2011 in Waukee, Iowa. (credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican presidential contender Tim Pawlenty says a spending deal that avoided a government shutdown should be rejected.

Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor who oversaw a state shutdown during his tenure, said Wednesday that the $38 billion in cuts agreed to in a last-minute compromise isn’t enough. He says that number isn’t accurate and the deal is “wholly unacceptable.”

Last week, Democrats and Republicans narrowly averted a partial shutdown of the government by agreeing on a spending plan for the rest of the current budget year, which ends Sept. 30. Final approval of that plan is expected this week.

Pawlenty has announced a presidential exploratory committee and is scheduled to speak at anti-tax events in Concord, N.H., and Boston on Friday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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