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In budget bill battle, all eyes are on the clock

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WASHINGTON — A potential government shutdown hurtling ever closer, the Democratic-led Senate moved today toward passing legislation keeping the government open, but disputes with and among Republicans ensured that the fight likely would spill into the weekend and possibly longer.

The result: a high-stakes showdown playing out in a climate of chaos, infighting and unpredictability that is extraordinary even by congressional standards. Reflecting the building drama, Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened today’s session with a prayer that included, “Lord, deliver us from governing by crisis.”

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