Top lawmakers reach agreement on spending as deadline nears

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American Capital Building in Washington D.C.
ANDREW TAYLOR Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiations on a package of spending bills to fund the federal government have produced a key breakthrough, though considerably more work is needed to wrap up the long-delayed measures. Top lawmakers of the House and Senate Appropriations committees on Saturday confirmed agreement on allocations for each of the 12 spending bills, a step that allows negotiations on the $1.4 trillion budget bundle to begin in earnest to try to pass the measures by a Dec. 20 deadline. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., announced the agreement on Saturday through aides. The measures would fill in the details on this summer's hard-won budget and debt deal. The pact is sought by a broad spectrum of GOP defense hawks, Democrats press
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