Congress races to extend federal spending power

Racing against the clock, members of a joint House-Senate conference Tuesday began plowing through differing versions of 48 amendments that need to ironed out for passage of a bill to extend the government's spending power into the new fiscal year. The negotiators had until midnight -- when the fiscal year ended -- to work out their differences, get the final product approved by both chambers, and send it to the President for his signature. The House-Senate conference breezed through 15 noncontroversial issues during the morning, leaving the tougher questions until the end.

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