US lawmakers struggling to reach a critical pandemic relief and federal spending deal struck a last-minute agreement Friday to avert a midnight shutdown of the government and extend negotiations through the weekend. Congressional leaders are frantically trying to resolve sticking points in a roughly $900 billion measure aimed at providing emergency relief for millions of Americans on the verge of losing key benefits. Because the pandemic relief plan is tied to passage of a separate $1.4 trillion federal spending package, the impasse threatened to temporarily shut down the government — a scenario not unheard of in politically divided Washington, but disastrous given the worsening economy and record daily death tolls from Covid-19. On the brink of a shutdown, the House of Representatives voted 320 to 60 late Friday to extend funding for federal agencies through Sunday to allow negotiators to finish their stimulus package. The Senate quickly passed the measure by voice vote, and President Donald Trump signed the bill hours before the midnight deadline.