Wednesday, December 9, 2015

As Shutdown Looms, Republicans Eye Short-Term Spending Bill

Drew Thies

House Republicans are considering a one-week continuing resolution to fund the government past this week in the face of Democratic opposition to the currently proposed omnibus spending legislation.

The stop-gap legislation would fund the government past the December 11th deadline to avert a government shutdown and allow lawmakers more time to come to an agreement on a larger spending package.

Democrats are pushing for a so-called “clean” omnibus spending package, which would fully fund the government through next year, devoid of non-funding related policy riders. Some Republicans would like to see the omnibus advance several other contentious policies, ranging from checks on refugees to campaign finance to e-cigarette regulation.

Democrats have thus far not agreed to any short term funding legislation and see a clean omnibus bill as the best way to avert the December 11th shutdown date.

“We know that we’re going to get it right instead of get it done fast,” said Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). “We’re going to make sure that members of Congress and therefore the public have the time to read what is agreed to. But we’re not going to let an arbitrary Dec. 11 deadline stop us from getting this right. We’re going to get the best agreement we can possibly get, and those negotiations are ongoing.”

Some Republicans even floated the idea of a six-week extension of current funding levels to give lawmakers more time for negotiations, a plan that White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the President would not endorse.

Both chambers last week passed a bipartisan, multi-year extension of highway funding, leaving government funding and tax extenders the last two major legislative hurdles of 2015.

Lawmakers are set to adjourn for the year on December 18th, resuming legislative business in 2016.

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