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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal 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 CochranEspy wins Mississippi Senate Democratic primary Bottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid 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 CornynCOVID-19 bill limiting liability would strike the wrong balance From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal 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 SchumerWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Schumer declines to say whether Trump executive orders are legal: They don't 'do the job' Schumer: Idea that 0 unemployment benefit keeps workers away from jobs 'belittles the American people' 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.