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Senate vote to fund the government fails two hours before shutdown deadline


by The Associated Press

The Senate failed to pass a government spending bill on Friday evening to keep the federal government running. A partial government shutdown will begin at midnight.

A few Republicans joined Democrats to oppose the short-term funding deal that would have kept the federal government's doors open through February 16.

The House approved the four-week funding bill on Thursday evening, including a provision to fund an important federal health insurance program for children, CHIP. Republicans hoped the CHIP deal would incentivize Democrats to vote for the short-term deal that did not include other key priorities.

Many Senate Democrats refused to sign on to a deal that did not include protections for the nearly 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

A number of Republicans broke ranks with their party including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who hoped to reach a bipartisan temporary funding deal that would have given senators a tighter deadline to debate a budget and the future of the "dreamers."

Earlier in the day, there were some signs that an agreement could be reached. President Donald Trump invited Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to the White House for an extensive discussion.

After the meeting, Trump seemed optimistic tweeting, "Making progress - four week extension would be best!"

As the Republican conference met behind closed doors ahead of the 10 p.m. vote, it became clear that the measure was not going to pass.

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