U.S. Senate heads toward passage of stopgap government funding bill

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday edged toward passage of a temporary government funding bill to avert a partial government shutdown, with leaders of both parties signaling support for the measure and lawmakers eager to return to the campaign trail.

"With cooperation from our Republican colleagues, the Senate can finish its work of keeping the government open as soon as tomorrow. There is every reason in the world to get to 'yes'," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech.

Schumer, the top Democrat, and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, sought a deal to circumnavigate the chamber's arcane parliamentary rules and enact the legislation ahead of a Friday deadline, when current funding for federal agencies is set to expire.

The bill would extend government-wide funding through Dec. 16.

McConnell told reporters that the measure "should pass here in the next day or two."

Once the Senate approves the bill, the House of Representatives would be expected to take it up and pass it promptly, sending the measure on to the White House for Democratic President Joe Biden's signature.

There is strong bipartisan support for the measure, which cleared a Senate procedural hurdle late on Tuesday on a 72-23 vote.

With control of the Senate up for grabs in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, Democrats and Republicans alike want to return to the campaign trail and potentially remain there until after voters cast their ballots.

Reporting by Katharine Jackson, Richard Cowan and David Morgan; Editing by Nick Macfie and Jonathan Oatis

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