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 McConnellTrump admin releases trove of documents on Ukrainian military aid The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions What to watch for on Day 2 of Senate impeachment trial 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 TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign 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 MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Apple reportedly dropped plans to let iPhone users encrypt backups | Justices decline facial recognition case | Critics fear Facebook losing misinformation fight | Truce on French tech tax On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Trump at Davos warns Europe on trade | President boasts about US economy to global elite | Experts say Trump trade victories may yield little growth MORE, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Why Senate Republicans should eagerly call witnesses to testify Trump health chief: 'Not a need' for ObamaCare replacement plan right now MORE (D-Calif.), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHouse revives agenda after impeachment storm On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees House Democrats unveil .35B Puerto Rico aid bill MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Roberts under pressure from both sides in witness fight GOP senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Those are just statements' 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.