Bill to avoid a U.S. government shutdown fails to advance

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A stopgap spending bill to keep the U.S. government open for nearly another month has failed to advance in the U.S. Senate. It leaves less than 90 minutes for lawmakers to avoid a government shutdown.

The procedural vote to limit debate received 50 votes in favor and 48 against, well short of the 60 votes required to advance the bill. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell had not voted as of 10:40 p.m. ET and U.S. Senator John McCain is out of town.

The stopgap spending bill would keep the federal government open through February 16, but Democrats and Republicans have been unable to agree on a deal. The failure to advance the bill leaves less than 90 minutes for the U.S. Congress to avoid a government shutdown.

If lawmakers fail to pass a spending bill by midnight, nonessential government employees will be furloughed until a deal has been reached. Federal workers who are deemed essential, such as public safety and national security personnel, will keep working.

The last government shutdown happened in October 2013 and lasted more than 2 weeks, during which more than 800,000 federal workers were furloughed.

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