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McConnell backs stopgap bill to fund government into December

McConnell backs stopgap bill to fund government into December
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate approves two energy regulators, completing panel On The Money: Biden announces key members of economic team | GOP open to Yellen as Treasury secretary, opposed to budget pick | GAO: Labor Department 'improperly presented' jobless data Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he would support a "clean" bill that would fund the government into December.

"Yeah, that's something I support," McConnell told reporters when asked about conversations on a continuing resolution (CR) into December.

Congress has until Sept. 30 to fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown roughly a month before the November election.

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Talks are underway behind the scenes about how long the stopgap bill should last and what should be attached to it.

McConnell's timeline is at odds with some Democrats, who have suggested that the CR, which continues funding at fiscal 2020 levels, should go into next year, when they hope to control both the House and Senate and have won back the White House.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Collins urges voters to turn out in Georgia runoffs MORE (D-N.Y.) declined on Wednesday to say how long he thought a stopgap funding bill should last.

"We're discussing what time the CR should go to. We haven't formulated our position yet," Schumer told reporters.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFinancial groups applaud Biden Treasury pick Yellen US sanctions Chinese company for conducting business with Maduro regime Monumental economic challenges await Biden's Treasury secretary MORE has talked with both Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year Incoming Congress looks more like America Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (R-Ala.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases House Democrats urge congressional leaders to support .1B budget for IRS Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate MORE (D-Calif.) about the need to pass a CR this month. Mnuchin and Pelosi have informally agreed to a "clean" CR, meaning it would not include issues that either party views as a poison pill.

"I would hope we could do one sometime in December," Shelby said. "Some people are talking about January, but I don’t think we want to do that."