By Russell Berman - 04/06/11 06:51 PM EDT
The House might not have to wait the required three days to vote on a spending bill if a budget deal is reached, giving negotiators more time to hash out an agreement this week and avert a government shutdown.
Two Republican leadership aides confirmed to The Hill that the GOP has not ruled out waiving a rule it adopted this year mandating that members be given three days to read a bill before it is brought to a vote.
The potential for a waiver also applies to a stopgap measure that would extend federal funding for a couple of days to allow officials to complete paperwork on a long-term spending deal. President Obama said on Tuesday he opposes a GOP proposal to combine steep cuts with a one-week extension, but would be open to signing a shorter stopgap if an agreement on a long-term plan has been reached.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had sent mixed signals Tuesday on the question of a waiver, saying that while the GOP was preserving its options, the three-day ruled remained in effect.
Asked on Wednesday if a waiver had been ruled out, Cantor spokeswoman Laena Fallon replied: “This is a real-time situation and we are keeping all of our options open.”
Meanwhile, negotiations were continuing, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Obama in a Wednesday phone call he was “hopeful” a deal could be reached.