Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday

Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday
© Greg Nash

Lawmakers broke up their meeting on Tuesday with no deal to fund the government as the clock ticked toward a Dec. 20 deadline.

Appropriators face a long series of obstacles to reach a deal and prevent either having to pass a short-term spending measure to keep the government open, or seeing federal agencies shut down.

House Appropriations 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 Senate Appropriations Chairman 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 button up a deal by Sunday, and kept working into the week on a slew of tough issues that include 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, immigration enforcement, abortion-related issues, and Trump’s use of emergency powers to reprogram money toward the wall.

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.) hosted a Tuesday meeting with Lowey, Shelby and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn 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 Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations Treasury watchdog to investigate Trump opportunity zone program MORE, but after just 24 minutes it split up. Appropriators said they had agreed to meet again Thursday in the hopes of working out most of the issues.

“Certainly we understand as appropriators that we have to get our work done, and we can finish our work, but with a couple of loose ends by the end of the week,” said Lowey.

“We’ve got a long list.” Shelby added. “They told us to get that list down.”

Congress is set to end its session next week, but has a lot of work ahead of it.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition to needing to pass the 12 spending bills funding the government for the fiscal year, Democrats want to pass a newly renegotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada. They also are expected to vote on two articles of impeachment against Trump.

If there is no deal on the spending bills for the full year, lawmakers could agree to another stopgap measure. But that would at least raise the risk of a shutdown since it’s not entirely clear the president would agree to the measure.

But Lowey said they were still far from considering a continuing resolution (CR), or even a plan to pass a combination of some spending bills with a partial CR for the remaining ones.

“I’m not focused on a CR at all. We’re adults, we’re appropriators. Mnuchin was there representing the administration, and if there’s a commitment to get our work done, I intend to keep that commitment,” she said.

Lowey even played down the importance of the Thursday deadline, comparing it to a deadline parents give children.

“If they don’t get their work done by Thursday, you say ‘mmmm, maybe I’ll give them a little more time,’” she said.