House, Senate Republicans push back as negotiators move forward with spending agreement
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Senate negotiators say they are closing in on an agreement to fully fund the federal government just days before a possible government shutdown.
“I’m glad we’re finally going to wrap up the basic governing duty that we have in the next few days,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
McConnell touted the job of appropriators on Capitol Hill for striking an initial agreement late Tuesday, retiring Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) said they found a pathway to a deal alongside House appropriators. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said there is still a long way to go, but a framework is a step in the right direction.
“This is welcome and important news. Congress now has a road map for funding the government before the conclusion of the 117th Congress,” said Schumer.
Schumer added Congress needs to pass a one-week continuing resolution, a stopgap bill that keeps the government funded while both chambers finalize the full package. If the stopgap measure does not pass, the government will shut down Friday.
The omnibus funding package is not finalized, but is expected to include boosts in funding across the federal government. It is also expected to include funding for Ukraine and changes to the Electoral Count Act - legislation in the wake of the January 6 insurrection that updates a 19th century law that gave outsized power to the Vice President in certifying presidential election results.
Some Republicans in the Senate want to delay the full funding package until the new year.
“Let’s postpone this vote until the first quarter. Give House leadership and chance to come up with a budget,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
Scott and a group of his colleagues said funding negotiations should take place when the GOP takes control of the House in early January. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took to the podium as well Wednesday and said he is on board with delaying the negotiations until his party holds the gavels in the House.
“Allow the American people what they said a month ago: to change Washington as we know it today,” said McCarthy.
Despite the pushback from some Republicans, leaders in the Senate are still hoping for final passage on or before December 23 to fund the government. That would keep lawmakers out of Washington through the New Year.
Copyright 2022 Gray DC. All rights reserved.