CR discussions veer toward December: Shelby

CR discussions veer toward December: Shelby
© Greg Nash

A stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown is likely to last only a few weeks, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyTrump signs short-term spending bill to avert shutdown Senate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Senate eyes sending stopgap spending bill back to House | Sondland delivers bombshell impeachment testimony | Pentagon deputy says he didn't try to block official's testimony MORE (R-Ala.).

“I hear that it’d be sometime in December,” Shelby said.

Shelby, who had previously floated a three- to four-month continuing resolution, or stopgap funding measure, said a December end-date was being discussed in meetings with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Congressional authority in a time of Trump executive overreach MORE (R-Ky.).

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In the House, Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerTrump signs short-term spending bill to avert shutdown Senate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown House passes stopgap as spending talks stall MORE (D-Md.) has also pushed for a mid-December deadline to advance spending bills, though House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyOn The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel Trump signs short-term spending bill to avert shutdown MORE (D-N.Y.) has also pushed for a longer horizon.

The House and Senate have yet to agree on any of the 12 annual spending bills for the 2020 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1. President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE’s proposed border wall is at the heart of the disagreements.

The current continuing resolution expires Nov. 21.

Shelby said that he is hoping that President Trump and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs On The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel MORE (D-Calif.) will be able to meet and work out their differences. The last meeting between the two was brief and tumultuous, ending when Trump hurled insults at Pelosi over her decision to support an impeachment inquiry.

“I think if they come together again we’ll move our bills. If we don’t we’re going to be drifting,” Shelby said.

He also said that he did not believe there was a serious chance of a shutdown happening, either in November or in December.

“I believe it’s zero,” he said. “I hope so.”