Congress has just two major items on its agenda before the November elections: That stalled coronavirus relief deal and a must-pass stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown after September. If the first was going nowhere, lawmakers at least seemed certain to take care of the second.
That’s still probably true, as neither party wants a shutdown just before voters cast their ballots. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this month that they had agreed to hash out a short-term funding bill. But the plan to pass a “clean” continuing resolution — one that simply extends funding at current levels, without too many additional provisions — is starting to get a bit messy.
Roll Call’s Jennifer Shutt reports:
“Despite the best efforts of top Capitol Hill and White House officials, drama is creeping back into negotiations over the stopgap spending bill needed to avert a partial government shutdown Oct. 1.
“There's no agreement on how long the continuing resolution will extend current funding levels, for starters, while tricky policy issues like upcoming redistricting-related census deadlines remain unresolved.
“What's more, there's even some talk among rank-and-file House Democrats about withholding their votes on the CR unless coronavirus relief provisions are attached, despite a White House-leadership deal to keep the two issues separate.”
Republicans reportedly want to THE temporary spending bill to last until mid-December, while Democrats want to push the next deadline to early next year. The negotiators have reportedly given themselves until Friday to reach a deal. "We hope we can reach a bipartisan, bicameral deal by tomorrow’s noon deadline," Evan Hollander, spokesman for House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) told Roll Call.
The House is expected to take up the spending bill next week.