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National Briefing

March 06, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Senate Republicans, demanding the right to try to change a huge spending bill, forced Democrats to put off a vote on the measure until next week. The development will force Congress to pass a stopgap funding bill to avoid a partial shutdown of government.

Republicans and some Democrats contend the $410-billion measure is filled with waste. They want to offer amendments, none of which is expected to pass. But votes on several are now scheduled for Monday night, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said. Reid said he was one vote short of the 60 needed to end debate and free the bill for President Obama's signature.

The measure was once considered relatively bipartisan.

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