US Senate scrambles to avert government shutdown, ahead of midnight deadline


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate raced to avert a government shutdown on Friday ahead of a midnight deadline with no agreement on funding in sight and both parties squabbling over who is to blame for the impasse.

A bill to fund the federal government through Feb. 16, approved on Thursday night by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, appeared on the verge of collapse in the Senate, where Democratic votes are needed to pass it.

President Donald Trump postponed plans to go to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and met at the White House with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to averting the shutdown, a source familiar with the situation said.

"The president is continuing to reach out to them and he will continue to do so throughout the day," White House legislative liaison Marc Short said of talks with Democrats.

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