Congress seeks remedy for shutdown ahead of Friday deadline

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While Democrats have offered to maintain government funding until January, Republicans are pushing for a longer stopgap. They argue that both sides will need more time to reach a comprehensive funding agreement that updates spending levels for the Pentagon and each national agency of the federal government.

“The question is not January… or February, or even March,” said Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), His party’s top official in the Senate. “I think the real question is, when do we sit down and talk in a substantive way? ”

A GOP adviser in the Senate said Tuesday afternoon that minority party leaders were looking for “an appropriate time” to work on inter-party negotiations over a broader fundraising plan. “To succeed in the long term, [a stopgap] this gives sufficient leeway is important in the short term, “said the Republican aide.

Republicans say those talks will take longer than usual this year, as Democrats seek historic increases in non-defense spending and won’t give in to GOP demands – like the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment, a Republican-led policy that prohibits the use of federal funding. to perform abortions.

A senior Democratic House official said Tuesday that Republicans in both chambers had “refused to negotiate” year round on government funding. “… while the House and Senate Democrats put forward their proposals, the Republicans did not make their own offer,” said Evan Hollander, the majority party’s main spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee. Bedroom.

Aside from this dispute over the length of the funding patch, Democrats and Republicans still disagree on which exceptions will be included in the bill. The leaders discussed several so-called “anomalies,” including adding funds for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Afghan resettlement efforts, and increasing salaries for congressional staff. The legislation could also include provisions to prevent cuts to programs like Medicare and farm subsidies.

Republican leaders have been mulling over how to negotiate the next spending patch for weeks, as Democrats have publicly called on them to counter-offer their funding bills.

The GOP has threatened to ultimately force Democrats on a “full year” stopgap if the majority party does not give in to a slew of Republican funding demands even before broader negotiations begin.

“We’re not going to have a substantive discussion with them about passing the bill, not just an RC, until they get serious about it,” Shelby said this week.

Sarah Ferris and Heather Caygle contributed to this report.


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