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“The appropriations process this year has been the most dysfunctional process that I’ve seen in my 30 years in Congress,” said Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. “While the [emergency spending bill] is now inevitable, it would not have been necessary had the Democrat majority actually focused on completing our work on appropriations bills.”

But Democrats said Republicans and the Bush administration - not Democrats - were to blame for the budget impasse this year because they “refused to compromise, refused to negotiate, refused to rethink their budget requests.”

“We are debating a [bill] today because we did not complete the appropriations process, [but] believe me, it was not for lack of effort,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.