U.S. Sen. Al Franken said Thursday he's optimistic that a federal government shutdown can be avoided.
Congress faces a deadline next Friday for sending President Barack Obama legislation to keep the government running.
Franken, who spoke on a separate topic at the State Capitol, told reporters that a House bill that funds government through the end of the fiscal year includes too many spending cuts. The Minnesota Democrat said negotiations should continue.
"We're kind of in uncharted territory here," Franken said. "When we get back, we're going to be hopefully negotiating. That's what politics is often about is the art of the possible, and I think it doesn't help anyone to shut the government down."
The last federal government shutdown was in December 1995, and went for three weeks.