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 signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal 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 TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally 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 MnuchinNavarro, Mnuchin clashed in front of Trump in Oval Office over TikTok: WaPo Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' Trump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter MORE, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi, Schumer slam Trump executive orders, call for GOP to come back to negotiating table Trump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE (D-Calif.), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyIt's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms Helping our seniors before it's too late House approves .3 trillion spending package for 2021 MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire 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.