McConnell backs 'clean' stopgap spending bill through Dec. 20

McConnell backs 'clean' stopgap spending bill through Dec. 20
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden: 'No party should have too much power' Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday threw his support behind a "clean" stopgap bill to fund the government through Dec. 20, saying it could pass the chamber and get President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE's signature. 

"While the House and Senate continue negotiations on setting the allocations, we need to buy more time. The House and Senate need to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 20 and allow these talks to continue," McConnell said from the Senate floor. 

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House appropriators introduced a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government through Dec. 20. Lawmakers have until the end of Thursday to prevent a government shutdown, and McConnell stressed that the chamber will remain in session to pass the bill before leaving for a weeklong Thanksgiving break. 

"This is what we need, a CR as clean as possible through Dec. 20. ... A clean CR to Dec. 20 would pass the Senate, and the White House has indicated President Trump would sign it," McConnell added. 

The government is currently funded through Nov. 21. But negotiations around the larger fiscal 2020 bills have been at a stalemate for months because of divisions on spending for Trump's border wall and top-line spending figures. 

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinWorld Bank approves billion-plus annual China lending plan despite US objections On The Money: Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown | Trump asks Supreme Court to shield financial records from House Democrats | House passes bill to explicitly ban insider trading Hillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC MORE, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump Democrats open door to repealing ObamaCare tax in spending talks Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing MORE (D-Calif.), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyAppropriators face crucial weekend to reach deal ICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyDemocrats open door to repealing ObamaCare tax in spending talks On The Money: Economy adds 266K jobs in strong November | Lawmakers sprint to avoid shutdown | Appropriators to hold crucial talks this weekend | Trump asks Supreme Court to halt Deutsche Bank subpoenas Appropriators face crucial weekend to reach deal MORE (R-Ala.) met late last week to discuss the fiscal 2020 bills. 

Lowey and Shelby are hoping to get a deal on the top-line figures by Wednesday. 

McConnell added on Monday that he wants to wrap up as much of the fiscal 2020 bills as possible by the end of the year, a goal he has privately told Senate Republicans. 

Lawmakers are formally scheduled to be in session an additional two weeks after the Thanksgiving break, but they are likely to be in session at least through the third week of December given the Dec. 20 end date for the new stopgap bill.

"This is our opportunity to get a bipartisan process back on track ... and then with more cooperation, we can reach agreement on allocations and pass as many of the 12 appropriations bills as possible before the end of the year," he added.