Lawmakers to push spending deadline to Dec. 16

Greg Nash

Congress plans to push a deadline to fund the federal government into next week to avoid a shutdown on Friday.

Top House and Senate leaders are still hammering out a final agreement on a catch-all yearlong spending bill, known as an omnibus. 

But time is running short for lawmakers to avoid a government shutdown on Friday, when current funding expires. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) introduced a measure to extend the deadline through next Wednesday, Dec. 16.

{mosads}The stopgap bill is expected to come up for votes in the House and Senate on Friday before the midnight deadline.

The text of the omnibus is expected to be introduced in the House on Monday, with a vote likely next Wednesday or Thursday. House GOP leaders prefer to adhere to a rule requiring legislation to be made public for at least three calendar days before voting on it. 

Negotiations are moving slowly, but leaders appear to be getting closer to an agreement over policy riders to be included in the measure. Sticking points range from rolling back environmental, financial and campaign finance regulations, to halting the Syrian refugee resettlement program. 

“We’ve got a lot of items to discuss and resolve. Dozens, in fact,” Rogers told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “We’re making some progress but it’s been slow.” 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week that President Obama would only sign a stopgap measure if lawmakers simply needed additional time to move the omnibus package.
“We have been clear that if members of Congress need an extra day or two to pass legislation, that the president would ensure the government would not shut down,” Earnest said Tuesday.
“The president is not going to sign a piece of legislation to give them more time to negotiate on a set of ideological riders,” he added. “Those riders should not be part of the process.”

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