Senate passes continuing resolution
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A potential federal shutdown hurtling ever closer, the Senate dealt an emphatic defeat to a core of rebellious young conservatives Friday and approved legislation preventing government agencies from closing on Tuesday.
The 54-44 vote, however, hardly spelled an end to Washington's latest down-to-the-wire budget drama. It remains unclear whether the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-run House will be able to craft a compromise and rush it to President Barack Obama for his signature before the government has to tell hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home.
The fight was certain to spill into the weekend at least. House GOP leaders were still struggling Friday to win over restive conservatives and concoct a new version of the bill that would be able to win approval in their chamber - and clear the Senate too.
The high-stakes showdown was playing out in a climate of chaos, unpredictability and GOP infighting that was extraordinary even by congressional standards. Reflecting the building drama, Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened Friday's session with a prayer that included, "Lord, deliver us from governing by crisis."