McConnell: Senate will pass short-term funding bill to avoid shutdown
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats rush to finish off infrastructure Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions GOP senators say Biden COVID-19 strategy has 'exacerbated vaccine hesitancy' MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday that the Senate will pass a short-term funding bill in order to avoid a government shutdown this week.

"The House has introduced a short-term funding bill that we expect to pass before Friday night's deadline so that a final agreement can be drafted and shared with members for their review prior to its consideration next week," McConnell said from the Senate floor. 
On Wednesday night, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced the one-week bill to fund the government through May 5. 
Lawmakers have until Friday night to pass the short-term funding bill and prevent a shutdown. Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Bottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future MORE (R-Miss.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said on Wednesday night that he expected both the House and Senate to pass the bill by Friday night.
Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Democrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards MORE (R-Texas) said the Senate could pass the short-term bill as early as Thursday and potentially by unanimous consent rather than a formal vote. 

Senate leadership had downplayed the chances of a stopgap continuing resolution earlier this week, arguing they still had time to agree to an omnibus bill — which would fund the government through Sept. 30 — under the tight deadline.

But as negotiations dragged on, lawmakers were increasingly expected to need to use a short-term bill to give more time to finalize negotiations 

McConnell didn't give an update on the government funding talks on Thursday morning but has said he expects an agreement soon. 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Wednesday that hurdles to finishing up the talks included help for Puerto Rico, an extension for miners health insurance and avoiding "poison pills" on environmental regulations and healthcare.
"There a few remaining uses to be settled. The most vexing is poison pill riders. We won't accept them, but I believe that we are close to final agreement," Schumer said from the Senate floor on Thursday. 
He added that negotiators are working to reach an agreement by tomorrow's deadline.  
The short-term continuing resolution would extend healthcare for thousands of miners and their families through May 5, and McConnell has backed including a permanent fix in the larger deal. 
"The extension will protect thousands of retired coal miners and their families from losing the health care benefits I have fought for throughout this entire process. As I continue to lead the fight to secure them on a permanent basis," he said Thursday. 
Updated at 11:27 a.m.