Congressional negotiators are pushing toward a deal to makepermanent a series of expired tax breaks for businesses andindividuals, a step lawmakers hope would speed parallel talks on amust-pass $1.1 trillion government spending bill.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers filed a stopgap billWednesday to finance the government through Dec. 16 and avert ashutdown. “It is my hope and expectation that a final, year-longbill will be enacted before this new deadline,” the KentuckyRepublican said in a statement. Current funding runs out afterFriday.

Congress is simultaneously negotiating two fiscal measures — onethat would fund the government through September 2016 and the otherthat would extend several dozen expired tax breaks that need to berenewed before the year's end. The bills aren't connected in anysubstantive way except that lawmakers are now using horse-tradingon the tax extender bill help reach a compromise on the spendingmeasure.

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