Senate races to fund government before Friday deadline

The Senate took the first step toward funding the government on Tuesday as time runs short to avoid a partial shutdown.

The upper chamber voted 68-13 to advance the Duck Stamp Act, a bill that will be repurposed to extend government funding into March.

Congressional leadership reached a deal on top-line spending earlier this month but still has to hammer out the details of that agreement. The extension would give lawmakers six more weeks to pass their annual appropriations bills, shifting the current funding deadlines to March 1 and March 8.

Getting the legislation through the Senate before Friday at midnight, when funding lapses for the first set of spending bills, won’t be easy.

The chamber operates by unanimous consent, meaning a single senator could delay the process into the weekend. But the Senate has been able to avert past
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