WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate faces a deadline of midnight
tonight to pass a stopgap spending measure that would prevent a
partial government shutdown.
That's because senators are tied up in a fight over a huge
appropriations bill. Democratic leaders were forced to postpone a
final vote on the $410 billion measure until Monday because they
were one vote short of the 60 needed to close debate.
With the vote postponed, senators need to pass a stopgap measure
to prevent a shutdown of most domestic agencies. Midnight is when a
temporary law that keeps the government in business expires.
The appropriations bill is being denounced by Republicans, as
well as a handful of Democrats, who say it's bloated and filled
with wasteful, pork-barrel spending projects. GOP senators are
demanding the opportunity to offer amendments, none of which are
expected to pass.