McConnell: Short-term spending bill needed to avoid shutdown

McConnell: Short-term spending bill needed to avoid shutdown
© Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Progressive veterans group launches campaign labeling Trump as a 'national security threat' GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday said he would make funding the government "a major focus" in September, but that a short-term continuing resolution would be needed to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.
 
"I'm confident we can make significant progress on regular appropriations this month and then pass an interim continuing resolution to prevent any funding lapse while that work continues," McConnell said from the Senate floor.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
He added that the Senate would try to pass as many fiscal 2020 spending bills as possible but that they would need a "temporary continuing resolution for the outstanding parts of the government before the end of September."
 
McConnell had previously indicated that a short-term patch of some kind would be needed. Asked during a briefing earlier this year if the Senate would be able to pass all 12 appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year, the GOP leader said they likely would not.
 
But his comments on Monday come as lawmakers have roughly three weeks until the Oct. 1 deadline to pass the 12 individual appropriations bills, or a stopgap, to avoid a second government shutdown of the year. Though the House has already passed 10 of the 12 bills, the Senate is starting its work on the fiscal 2020 bills this week, with the Appropriations Committee expected to advance four measures.
 
House Democrats are slated to vote on a continuing resolution next week. Democratic leaders haven't said how long the resolution would cover, but a House Democratic aide told The Hill that Nov. 22 was the most likely end date, putting another funding deadline up against the Thanksgiving recess.
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election Senate fight derails bipartisan drug pricing bills Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Klobuchar: 'I have seen no reason why' Hunter Biden would need to testify Johnson dismisses testimony from White House officials contradicting Trump as 'just their impression' MORE (D-Calif.), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry CR discussions veer toward December: Shelby White House warns against including wall restrictions in stopgap bill MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Senators press NSA official over shuttered phone surveillance program EPA blames advisory board for controversial changes to FOIA policy MORE (Vt.), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, met Monday afternoon in Schumer's office to discuss government funding options.