Republicans seek to avert government shutdown as spending talks drag on

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks at the annual U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree lighting in WashingtonBy David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As negotiations over a $1 trillion U.S. spending bill dragged on, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Tuesday they would seek to pass a stop-gap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown early on Saturday. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the extension would likely last a “handful of days” to allow work on the spending bill to be completed, potentially over the weekend. Current government agency spending authority expires at midnight on Friday.

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