Senate funding bill slips into next week
© Greg Nash

The Senate's work on a short-term spending bill is slipping into next week.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance Five takeaways from a bracing day of Jan. 6 testimony McCarthy, McConnell say they didn't watch Jan. 6 hearing MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday got unanimous consent, which requires the agreement of every senator, to set up a first procedural vote at 5:30 p.m. Monday on a House appropriations bill that will be used as a vehicle for the continuing resolution (CR).

The Senate had expected to hold a first vote this week after wrapping up work on a water infrastructure bill.

Top lawmakers hedged when pressed about the timing of a deal, noting they had hoped to announce something this week. 

"I don't know if we'll have [an agreement] by Friday, but listen: I think we could be on our way by Monday," Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiHarris invites every female senator to dinner next week Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? Bottom line MORE (D-Md.) told reporters. 

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division Federal officials abroad are unprotected — in a world of increasing volatility MORE (R-Texas) said that the text of the deal would be released before the initial vote.

Lawmakers are struggling to iron out a handful of contentious policy fights, including funding for Planned Parenthood.

Democrats have pledged to block any spending measure that includes restrictions on funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico as part of the funding package to combat the spread of the Zika virus.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTom Brady to Biden: '40 percent of the people still don't think we won' Rubio, Demings rake in cash as Florida Senate race heats up How transparency on UFOs can unite a deeply divided nation MORE (D-Fla.) expressed optimism that they were close to a deal that would provide $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause birth defects in the newborns of pregnant women who contract the disease.

"I think that [Republicans] realize that they've got to get rid of political riders on that," he said. "I think that is ... going in that direction, with McConnell behind it."

Cornyn and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden MORE (R-S.D.) also noted that Republican Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump's Texas endorsement boosts a scandal-plagued incumbent while imperiling a political dynasty Trio of Senate Republicans urges Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia MORE's push to block the transfer of management of the internet to an international body is still part of the negotiations, but nothing has been resolved.

Thune said he believes leadership will reach a deal this weekend — one that would include at least a delay of the internet authority transfer, which is slated to occur Oct. 1. 

If that happens, he believes the Senate could still leave by mid-next week.

"If things come together over the weekend, and I hope they will, we could wrap this up in the middle of next week," Thune said of the stopgap spending bill.

The Senate's short-term funding bill is expected to last through Dec. 9. The timeline has earned pushback from House conservatives who want to avoid a lame-duck session of Congress.

Lawmakers want to wrap up work on the funding bill next week. The move would allow vulnerable Senate incumbents to get back on the campaign trail, as Republicans defend 24 seats this cycle to Democrats' 10.

Cornyn, noting the Senate will be in session next week, said "any thought of adjourning early was irrational exuberance."

— This report was updated at 1:40 p.m.