Little progress as spending talks push past weekend

Little progress as spending talks push past weekend
© Greg Nash
Top appropriators made little progress in crafting a new spending deal over the weekend, leaving them little time to reach a deal before a Dec. 20 deadline. 
 
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyOn 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 Appropriators fume over reports of Trump plan to reprogram .2 billion for wall MORE (D-N.Y.) and her Senate counterpart Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyAppropriators fume over reports of Trump plan to reprogram .2 billion for wall The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment tug-of-war expected to end soon McConnell tells GOP senators to expect impeachment trial next week MORE (R-Ala.) had hoped to work out politically contentious issues in the spending packages by the end of the weekend, leaving only the toughest issues for leadership to hammer out.

The talks began on Friday, when top Democrats and Republicans from 12 appropriations subcommittees responsible for annual spending bills submitted progress from their own talks to the full committee chairs, leaving them to haggle over tough issues such as how to tackle President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE's proposed border wall.

Other contentious issues included immigration enforcement, abortion and Trump's use of emergency powers to transfer military funds toward the wall.

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Appropriators have just days to work out a deal on the issues if they are to move packages of spending bills through both the House and Senate by Dec. 20 to avoid a shutdown. Without new spending bills, Congress would have to pass a stopgap funding measure to prevent a government closure.

Shelby has suggested a stopgap could extend as far as March, but House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon Hillicon Valley: FBI to now notify state officials of cyber breaches | Pelosi rips 'shameful' Facebook | 5G group beefs up lobby team | Spotify unveils playlists for pets Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' MORE (D-Calif.) said last week it could go until just after Christmas.

Whether President Trump will agree to sign another stopgap without a deal on the wall remains an open question. Last year, the fight over the wall led to a 35-day shutdown.
 
There are reasons to think both sides would want to avoid a shutdown this time, given a presidential election that is less than a year away. But Trump is seen as a wild card in the negotiations, and tensions are high with House Democrats expected to impeach Trump before Christmas.