Key Republican: Short-term funding bill would be 'mistake'

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Wednesday Congress should pass a long-term spending bill that funds the government through September 2015.

On MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” Cole was asked whether he would insist on the longer-term omnibus spending bill rather than a short-term extension. 

“I think a short-term extension in my view is a mistake. I actually agree very much we should have a long-term bill. We should pass an omnibus spending bill similar to what the president's requested that will give us stability through at least September 30th of next year,” Cole said. “I think that's an important thing.”

Cole is closely allied with House GOP leadership and a member of the House Budget Committee.

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The Republican said he also hopes Congress passes tax extenders — a series of expired tax breaks — by the end of the year.

House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing told The Hill this week the omnibus package won’t be released for several weeks, and will likely be unveiled the week of Dec. 8.

If that’s the case, lawmakers will only have just a day or two to debate and vote on the new measure. The continuing resolution (CR) Congress passed in September expires on Dec. 11 and lawmakers need to pass a new spending bill in order to avert a government shutdown.

After meeting with President Obama and other congressional leaders last Friday, House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said top lawmakers agreed Congress should vote on a long-term funding bill in the lame-duck session. 

Cole also suggested Congress should work on a war authorization for the United States fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“I hope we start work and even conclude a new authorization for action against ISIL. That's something the president's asked for. We need to get rid of old authorizations that allow the executive branch to go to war almost any place, any time and that most members haven't voted on,” he said.

Some top Republicans have expressed that they want to wait until the new Congress once they have control of both chambers while Democrats are pushing for an authorization vote by the end of December. 

This story was updated at 5:38 p.m.