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Senate leaders try to get spending bills back on track

Mitch McConnell, John Barrasso, John Thune, John Cornyn
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s GOP and Democratic leaders can’t agree on much, but they both say they want to dedicate weeks to passing legislation to fund the government next year — and avoid the annual take-it-or-leave-it vote on a foot-tall, $1 trillion-plus catchall spending bill.

For now, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer are saying all the right things to try to revive the older, more deliberative ways of doing Senate business rather than bundling the 12 annual spending bills together.

Critics say it gives too much power to top leaders while rank and file lawmakers are shut out of secretive negotiations.

President Donald Trump is playing a role as well, promising that he won’t sign any more such “omnibus” appropriations bills.

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