US government on the verge of shutdown

US government on the verge of shutdown

WASHINGTON - Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Thursday advanced stopgap legislation to keep the federal government operating past Friday when funding expires, seeking to avert a self-inflicted disaster shortly before the Christmas holiday season.

The House of Representatives voted to begin debate on a bill that would keep federal agencies humming along at current funding through Jan. 19 and avert a shutdown that would create political havoc in Washington.

A final House vote was set for later on Thursday and the Senate was expected to take up the measure on Thursday night.

"We're ready to work together across the aisle to ensure there is no lapse in funding for critical services," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

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