Shelby: Deal close on third minibus spending package

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump on border wall funding: ‘This would be a very good time to do a shutdown’ Kellyanne Conway: Trump could shut down government for wall funding MORE on Wednesday said the House and Senate were close to a deal on a third package of spending bills for 2019, an assertion disputed in the House.
 
“This opened up about 45 minutes ago now,” Shelby (R-Ala.) told reporters on Wednesday, referring to the window for passing a new spending package. 
 
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“Again, I thought it was closed, it might close fast and punt until, moving over until December.”
 
But in the House, there is little expectation that a deal can get done by the end of the week on the package, which includes spending bills for Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Financial Services and general government.
 
 
A House GOP leadership aide said there was no chance of the package getting done on time.
 
Even if an agreement had already been reached, the aide noted, it would take days to disseminate the bill and educate members on its contents, not to mention bring it the floor. 
 
The House is likely to adjourn Thursday evening after its final votes, scrapping a Friday session, and is unlikely to return until after the midterm elections.
 
While Shelby said the final sets of proposals and counter-proposals centered around overall spending levels, the House aide said there are open issues in every one of the bills.
 
Shelby agreed that the chances of failure remained significant.
 
“I’m very guarded right now. The window might close," he said.
 
The House and Senate each passed their own versions of the bills during the summer and have clashed on a series of issues such as federal pay and environmental issues.
 
 
The House on Wednesday passed a separate measure that includes a general funding extension for unfunded government agencies, pushing the funding deadline from the last day of September until December 7th.