McConnell eyes short-term funding deal through Dec. 9
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that the Senate is eyeing a short-term spending measure that would last through early December.

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"We're going to work toward the Dec. 9 date at last year's levels," he told reporters. "We're looking for a way forward."

"I hope to be able to turn to it next week," he said.

The Republican leader's comments mark the first time he's laid out his plan for funding the government past Oct. 1 and avoiding a shutdown.

A short-term spending bill that expires in December would pit McConnell against the House Freedom Caucus and some Senate Republicans, including Majority Whip John CornynJohn Cornyn Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Trump struggles to reshape Fed Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks MORE (R-Texas), who would prefer a longer continuing resolution (CR).

Senate Democrats have vowed to oppose any measure that stretches into next year.

McConnell said Wednesday that he has "started discussions" with Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSanders courts GOP voters with 'Medicare for All' plan Glamorization of the filibuster must end Schumer won't rule out killing filibuster MORE (D-Nev.) and the White House.

Having the CR expire in December would force lawmakers to pass either another short-term bill or an omnibus spending package by the end of the year.

— Updated at 2:23 p.m.