Thursday: House to fund VA, National Guard on day 3 of the shutdown

So far, however, Democrats have resisted what they call a piecemeal approach to funding the government, and today should be no different. Democrats charge the GOP with picking and choosing which parts of the government to fund, when they should be passing a full continuing resolution.

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But after a late Wednesday meeting between congressional leaders and President Obama, GOP leaders offered no sign that an agreement was in sight that would end the shutdown, and no sign they were even starting to negotiate. As a result, Republicans were expected to continue passing smaller bills in the hope of attracting support in the Senate.

Bills up today are H.J.Res. 72, the Honoring Our Promise to America's Veterans, and H.R. 3230, the Pay Our Guard and Reserve. Members will start considering these spending measures when they come in for legislative work at noon.

The Senate starts at 10:30 a.m., and may at some point consider three spending bills the House passed yesterday. However, the Senate has not said definitively whether it would actually vote on any of these, which leaves open the chance that the Senate might ignore them.

If they came to a vote, Democrats are likely to reject all three, although one of them might give them pause — a spending resolution funding the District of Columbia government. The House approved that measure in a voice vote, a sign many Democrats are open to ensuring funding for the city that hosts the nation's Capitol.

Others the Senate could consider today would fund national parks and the National Institutes of Health, which both passed the House on Wednesday.