Lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the White House were rushing feverishly to finalize a spending bill that is government-wide of $1.1 trillion and a wide-ranging tax package touching every sector of the economy, before heading home for their holiday break.
Numerous issues remained unresolved as of Friday morning, mainly the policy disputes regarding the environmental and other issues lawmakers of each party are attempting to attach to the must-pass legislation.
Republicans are looking to lift the ban on oil exports and to roll back a number of regulations from the White House administration. At the same time, Democrats are trying to protect the environmental rules of President Obama and enact tax credits for solar, wind and other renewable energy.
Under the current law, the funding of the government expires as of midnight Friday night, when the last spending bill set up for the short term expires.
The Senate has agreed via a voice vote and without a debate Thursday to extend the deadline through December 16 to give additional time for debate.
The House is expected to do the same on Friday, but some in the House are saying that even more time could be required.
Earlier lawmakers from the Northeast states were assured the legislation extending the health benefits and compensation fund for first responders at 9/11 would be a part of the spending bill.
This spending measure will fund the government to the end of the 2016 budget year but has become more intertwined with the tax legislation, which could give a political victory to each party.
Much uncertainty existed as to whether Congress would be able to pull of such a major tax bill that has permanent extensions that benefit both sides or opt simply for an extension of two years of the current tax breaks.
Congresses legislative year is coming to a close and lawmakers are eager to put a finishing touch on their work in progress and return home for the holidays.
A two-year debt and budget deal passed earlier in the year set the spending levels overall, but that left it up to the Appropriations Committee to distribute the monies ahead of this deadline for a partial shutdown of the government.