Hill Negotiators Agree on Funding Bill, Shutdown Avoided

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The federal government was again on the brink of shutting down Friday, but Congress is on track to keep the government running past a Friday deadline.

Late Thursday night, congressional leaders reached a tentative deal on the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund several agencies through to the end of fiscal year 2012, according to Reuters.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) said the full Senate could vote on the bill Friday and a Republican aide said the House is expected to do the same, Reuters reported. Funding for several agencies, including the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, expires at midnight Friday.

A Democratic aide told Reuters lawmakers could pass a two-month extension if a separate deal can not be reached on a payroll tax cut extension and unemployment benefits. Lawmakers were also negotiating on preventing doctors who treat Medicare patients from taking a pay cut.

Congressional leaders were close to an agreement on those issues late Thursday, clearing the way for the omnibus, according to National Journal.

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