Congressional leaders had set a Friday deadline to approve a $900 billion pandemic relief deal and tie that proposal to a $1.4 trillion funding package before the federal government run outs of money at midnight.
But now they are set to blow right past that deadline.
With no quick resolution in sight, lawmakers are gearing up to work through the weekend. And a key question looms: Will they will be able to avert a government shutdown as the clock ticks down to midnight?
Most lawmakers believe the two sides will agree to extend government funding for a few more days while relief talks continue. But this is Congress, where even the easy things can be hard to do.
Senate GOP leaders have been openly talking about how it may be necessary to pass a stopgap bill — called a continuing resolution, or CR — to extend the shutdown deadline for a brief window of up to 48 hours, though Democratic leaders have so far been unwilling to embrace that call in an effort to pressure Republicans to finalize a relief deal.