Reid: 'Lots of problems' with funding bill

Reid: 'Lots of problems' with funding bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems face identity crisis Heller under siege, even before healthcare Charles Koch thanks Harry Reid for helping his book sales MORE (Nev.) says there “are lots of problems” with a Republican proposal to fund the government beyond the end of the month, dampening hopes a deal might be reached this week.

Reid told reporters Wednesday that Republican and Democratic leaders are at loggerheads over the stopgap funding measure, which includes tens of millions of dollars to fight the Zika virus.

Republicans don’t want any of the $80 million slated for Puerto Rico's Zika response to go to Planned Parenthood clinics.

“The CR is not done; it’s a work in progress,” Reid said, referring to the funding continuing resolution. “Zika funding is not done; it’s a work in progress.”

Asked whether the partisan dispute over granting Planned Parenthood access to federal funds remains a sticking point, Reid said, “Planned Parenthood is not gone.”

Senators had expected to vote Wednesday to begin floor debate on the stopgap, but now that’s unlikely. 

Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynSenators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan Cornyn: Key vote to advance health bill likely Wednesday GOP ObamaCare fight faces do-or-die procedural vote MORE (Texas) said the Water Resources Development Act, which was supposed to pass Wednesday, now may not received a final vote until Thursday. He said the vote to begin debating the stopgap will happen after the water bill moves off the floor. 

Reid downplayed the likelihood of leaders reaching a deal by close of business Wednesday. 

“A lot of work [needs] to be done on that. This isn’t going to be wrapped up in the next couple hours, that’s for sure,” he said. “I think it would be extremely hard today. ... It can’t be done today.”

Reid met Thursday morning with Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiBipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day After 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? MORE (Md.), the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, as well as with members of his leadership team to discuss the path forward. 

He said he would provide an update to the ranking Democrats on other committees during a private lunch.