Political standoff

Unless a budget compromise emerges between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-majority Senate, the temporary measure that is financing federal operations for fiscal 2011 will expire at 11:59 p.m. Friday and the government will be forced to shut down. To give lawmakers more time to break the impasse, Congress may take a two-pronged approach. A guide to how the budget battle could go down:

Unless a budget compromise emerges between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-majority Senate the government will be forced to shut down.

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