ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — The budget battle in Washington has kept many of U.S. senators and representatives away from a Midwestern conference of conservatives in suburban St. Louis.
Hundreds of people gathered Saturday for pep-rally-style speeches and panel discussions at the Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Charles, Missouri.
U.S. Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma were late cancelations, as were numerous U.S. House members.
A convention spokeswoman says they stayed in Washington, where lawmakers face a midnight Monday deadline to pass a funding plan to avert a partial government shutdown.
Utah Senator Mike Lee attended the convention and received a standing ovation for aiding Texas Senator Ted Cruz this week in his filibuster against funding for the federal Affordable Care Act.
The event is sponsored by the American Conservative Union.