US Congress scrambles to avert looming government shutdown


By David Morgan, Makini Brice and Moira Warburton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Congress was scrambling on Saturday to avert a partial government shutdown just hours away, with House Republicans turning to Democrats for help passing a temporary stopgap measure to keep federal agencies open.

Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy abandoned party hardliners’ earlier insistence that any bill pass the chamber with only Republican votes, a change that could cause one of his far-right members to try to oust him from his leadership role.

The House voted 335-91 to fund the government for another 45 days, with more Democrats than Republicans supporting it. The measure would extend government funding by 45 days if it passes the Democratic-majority Senate and is signed into law by Democratic President Joe Biden.

The move marked a profound shift from earlier in the week, when a shutdown looked all but inevitable.

Time was short to avert the fourth partial federal government shutdown in a decade, which would begin at 12:01 ET (0401 GMT) on Sunday.

(Reporting by David Morgan, Makini Brice and Moira Warburton, Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Scott Malone and Andrea Ricci)

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