Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday

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: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday Little progress as spending talks push past weekend MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday Doug Loverro’s job is to restore American spaceflight to the ISS and the moon 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 TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to ‘forever wars’ Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech 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 PelosiTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Trump supporters at Pa. rally ‘upset’ after Democrats introduce impeachment articles California GOP candidate arrested on stalking charges MORE (D-Calif.) hosted a Tuesday meeting with Lowey, Shelby and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles White House, Democrats edge closer to deal on trade 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.

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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.

 

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