Much of the federal government could shut down this Saturday, unless Congress votes to pass a new government funding bill.
Senator Tammy Duckworth says that if Democrats are going to have a voice in shaping that bill, they have to be united on what they want it to have.
"I think that if we are clear as to what are the items that we certainly have to accomplish, that we can enter into negotiations with our eyes wide open, so that we don't come out of there with negotiations where one party doesn't even get to show up to negotiate."
Duckworth says she agrees with Republican calls for raising defense spending. But the freshman Democrat says she also wants to see more funding for veterans services, public schools and Medicaid.
Duckworth also supports reauthorization of S-CHIP, the state Children's Health Insurance Program and passage of the DREAM Act to help people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors.