WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate's No. 2 Democrat says the chamber may come out in favor of a smaller patch for bankrolling the government than the one envisioned in a temporary spending bill passed by the Republican-dominated House.

The idea, says Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, would be to get Congress working sooner than mid-December on a more sweeping piece of legislation -- known as an omnibus spending bill -- that he hopes would reverse some automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

The chief focus of the stopgap spending bill that narrowly cleared the House would be to avoid a partial government shutdown when the budget year ends next week. Tea party-leaning members of the House GOP caucus successfully attached language that would strip funding for President Barack Obama's health care program.

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