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US lawmakers seek to finalize spending bill as wintry storm threatens to snarl Washington

Rep. Paul Ryan
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Rep. Paul Ryan

U.S. congressional leaders worked to finalize a massive federal spending bill on Tuesday to finance the government through September and prevent a government shutdown before funding runs out late Friday, as an approaching winter storm threatened to snarl Washington.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he expected lawmakers to finish writing the $1.2 trillion bill later on Tuesday but that they were still finalizing provisions to include.

Congress must pass a funding bill before midnight on Friday to prevent the federal government from shutting down, but a number of thorny issues remain, including whether to insert any narrow gun control-related provisions.

"There's some unresolved issues. We're working through them while we speak," Ryan told reporters at a news conference, adding he hoped to post the final version of the bill on Tuesday.

Ryan said lawmakers were still discussing the gun provisions.

Separately, U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he hoped a spending deal could be reached this week.

A forecast for an early spring snowstorm could snarl the timeline if it shuts down roads and closes the government. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the Washington region until Wednesday night.