Lawmakers hoping to approve a must-pass spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers are hoping to approve a must-pass spending bill as the clock ticks toward a potential government shutdown this weekend.

House Republican leaders, however, are struggling to unite the GOP rank and file behind legislation that would punt most of their remaining work into next year.

House GOP leaders unveiled their plan Wednesday evening at a closed-door meeting but a number of defense hawks opposed plans to put off a guns vs butter battle with Democrats until January.

There's still plenty of time to avert a politically debilitating shutdown of the government, which would detract from the party's success this week in muscling through its landmark tax bill.

With Republicans controlling Washington, they would not have anyone else to blame for a shutdown debacle.

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