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Lawmakers race to stave off a shutdown — if they have the votes

House lawmakers intend to vote in the 11 a.m. hour Friday to pass a six-bill government funding package and avoid a shutdown. But there could be turbulence in rounding up the votes needed for passage.

Leadership is trying to pass the package, known as a minibus in Washington parlance, through suspension of the rules — an expedited process requiring two-thirds of the chamber’s support. But one centrist Republican who is voting for the bill said Thursday evening that chances the House passes the government funding bill appeared “iffy at the moment.”

In an ominous sign for House leadership, senior appropriator Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) announced he would oppose the package over concerns about earmarks added by the Senate in the process. He said the Senate had “taken liberties” and “The Senate must respect the work of the House.”

If and when the measure escapes the House, the timing for Senate action remains unclear. Conservatives vented about the bill, but didn’t indicate in interviews they planned to hold it up — assuming they secure some amendment votes.

Jordain Carney contributed to this report.

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