House GOP backs three-week funding bill

House GOP backs three-week funding bill
© Greg Nash

House Republicans on Saturday appeared open to backing a three-week stopgap funding measure to end the government shutdown, but an endgame still remains elusive with Senate Democrats and Republicans in a standoff.

Some Senate Republicans, including South Carolina’s Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Will Republicans' rank hypocrisy hinder their rush to replace Ginsburg? Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day MORE, have been pushing for a funding bill through Feb. 8. But Senate Democrats have balked at that plan, instead pushing for a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government for only four or five days.

The spending bill passed by the House earlier this week would extend funding for four weeks, through Feb. 16, which would accommodate upcoming events like the State of the Union and the joint GOP retreat.

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House Republicans indicated they’d be willing to support a slightly shorter extension, but not one that lasts for just a few days.

“I believe we would accept if they go to Feb. 8,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill Trump's sharp words put CDC director on hot seat MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters as he left a meeting with rank-and-file House Republicans in the basement of the Capitol.

Other Republicans walking out of that meeting also said they would go along with a three-week plan, so long as it doesn’t include Democratic demands that Congress shield immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.

“I think there is [GOP] unity around the three-week plan,” said Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneBottom line Jerry Carl wins GOP Alabama runoff to replace Rep. Bradley Byrne Jeff Sessions loses comeback bid in Alabama runoff MORE (R-Ala.). “A four- or five-day CR just means we’re right back in the soup. Let’s get a solution that gets us enough time to actually get this thing worked out.

“Three weeks, yeah, we can get something done. We may not get everything done.”

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenTrump order on drug prices faces long road to finish line Ignore the misinformation: The FDA will ensure the safety of any COVID-19 vaccine Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video MORE (R-Ore.) blamed Democrats for shutting down the government, saying that party ultimately will need to decide how long they want to shutter federal offices.

“Three weeks is fine,” Walden said, while asking, “Why do we keep creating the next cliff?"

"I mean I’m sure [Democrats] would like to shut down the government again right before the State of the Union” on Jan. 30, Walden said.