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WASHINGTON (AP) - On its last day in session before the election, the Senate has tied itself in knots over 41 polar bear carcasses that hunters want to bring home from Canada.

After punting tough decisions on far weightier issues, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada insisted that the Senate address the wide-ranging sportsmen's bill before voting on must-pass legislation to prevent the government from shutting down at the end of next week.

Republicans resisted for a while Friday, contending the only reason Reid wanted the vote now on the bill long sought by hunters and sport fishermen was to benefit Democratic incumbent Jon Tester 's re-election prospects in a tossup race in Montana.

Democrats would get only a test vote as the Senate, yet again, delaying another issue until after the election.

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