"Congress is taking a series of actions today on legislation that would prevent a lapse in appropriations and allow for continued Government operations. We continue to believe that time remains for Congress to pass full-year appropriations for FY 2015, and prevent a government shutdown," an OMB official said in a statement.
"However, out of an abundance of caution, we are working with agencies and taking steps to prepare for all contingencies, including a potential lapse in funding.”
While the White House still doesn't believe a shutdown is likely, the call came as lawmakers looked for the votes to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled earlier this week.
While President Obama backed the bill despite provisions that would roll back elements of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and reduce limits on campaign contributions, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would not be backing the legislation.
“I’m enormously disappointed that the White House feels that the only way they can get a bill is to go along with this. That would be the only reason I think they would say they would sign such a bill,” Pelosi said.
In a subsequent "Dear Colleague" letter, the Democratic leader said it was "that the Republicans don’t have enough votes to pass the CRomnibus."
The House went into recess Thursday afternoon shortly after a harrowing vote to approve the House rule governing debate on the spending package, which was approved 214-212 only after intense lobbying by Republican leadership.
In October of 2013, the government shut down for 16 days as lawmakers were unable to strike a funding deal amid Republican attempts to scale back the Affordable Care Act. An estimated 800,000 government employees were furloughed during that period, and many federal services were shuttered.
Earlier Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he anticipated "Democrats and Republicans will support this piece of legislation."
"Republicans have taken a look at this legislation and identified things in that bill that they think are good for the country. We do have a disagreement about them, but we can't allow a disagreement over one thing to be a deal-breaker over all the others," Earnest said.