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The federal government late Thursday faced increasing odds of a partial shutdown, the culmination of a long period of budget warfare that has now imperiled what most lawmakers agree is the most basic task of governance.

The immediate challenge Thursday was a refusal by Senate Democrats to join with Republicans in passing legislation that would keep the government open for 30 more days while legislators continued to negotiate a longer-term solution.

But the impasse raised deeper questions about the GOP’s capacity — one year into the Trump administration — to govern. Never before has the government experienced a furlough of federal employees when a single party controls both the White House and Congress, but that’s what will happen after midnight Friday if a spending bill fails to pass Congress.

Looming shutdown raises fundamental question: Can GOP govern?

Despite controlling Congress and White House, Republicans struggle to get legislation passed.


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