U.S. Senator John McCain speaks to reporters as he arrives for votes on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 12, 2014. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
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US senators clashed Friday over a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, forcing lawmakers to approve an extension of funds to avoid a government shutdown as Republicans delayed a final vote on the must-pass legislation.Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed hope that a deal would be reached for a final vote Friday on the bill funding nearly all federal operations through next September, which passed the House of Representatives on Thursday.When Reid objected, Republicans signalled they would push a final vote to Monday or later.If there is no agreement by late Saturday to extend funding, the government could plunge into shutdown.A Republican aide said Reid's decision to hold votes on a handful of controversial nominees, including Obama's pick for US surgeon general, is also causing Republicans to stall.In October 2013, a bitter budget clash between Republicans and Democrats triggered a 16-day government shutdown.
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