Congress is considering a short-term spending bill to avoid a shutdown

A vote on government funding for a week gives negotiators more time, pushing the deadline to December 23 to incentivize a compromise before the holidays.

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers should stand ready to act quickly to pass a resolution on funding the federal government for a week while negotiators continue to work on a longer-term spending bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday.

Schumer described weekend talks over a funding package as “positive and productive talks, enough for both sides to move forward to reach an agreement, even if it won’t be everything either side wants.”

Congress is in a familiar position and faces a midnight Friday deadline submit an expense report to avoid a partial government shutdown. A vote on government funding for a week gives negotiators more time, but it also pushes the deadline to December 23, giving lawmakers more incentive to compromise as they face the prospect of spending over the Washington holiday to be.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration believes Congress has enough time to pass a funding measure. But she added, “If they need extra days to get there, so be it.”

The two parties primarily disagree over how much to allocate to non-defense spending in the next fiscal year. Republicans have argued that earlier votes on the party line had already secured money for Democrats on a number of health and environmental priorities.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said any final agreement must fund defense at the level written in a defense bill passed by the House of Representatives last week, about $858 billion, and “with no additional Wasting resources” beyond what the President is doing Joe Biden on domestic programs has requested.

“Our Democratic colleagues have already spent two years massively increasing domestic spending using partisan reconciliation legislation outside of the normal appropriation process,” McConnell said, even in return for the US military funding requested.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said last week that the two parties are about $25 billion apart on non-defense domestic spending in a package expected to be about $1.65 trillion.

After negotiations stalled last week, Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. was introducing a year-round spending bill Monday along with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. The two are the top Democrats on the Senate and House Appropriations Committees. Leahy said the bill would provide “the necessary increase in non-defense programs to stave off inflation and serve the American people.”

But Democratic leaders decided to delay the passage of their bill. A Senate adviser said Leahy believes “sufficient progress” was made during the weekend’s talks for negotiations to proceed.

Lawmakers hope to prioritize a number of other spending bills, including the Biden administration’s call for an additional $37 billion in aid to Ukraine, which Senate leaders from both parties say is necessary Country defends itself against Russia. Congress is considering a short-term spending bill to avoid a shutdown

Laura Coffey

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