Congressional leaders and the White House now support a stopgap continuing resolution that would fund the government until at least mid-December – setting up the possibility of another year-end government shutdown if negotiators can’t reach a fiscal 2020 spending agreement in the interim.
With the House on recess this week, Congress will have eight days in session before current funding expires on Nov. 21. Though President Trump has not ruled out another government shutdown, his legislative director said this week that the president would sign a stopgap spending bill to allow more time for negotiations.
“So long as the continuing resolution does not impede the president’s ability to pursue his policies, the administration is willing to support passage of a continuing resolution with a December date,” said Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told House Democrats this week to prepare to remain in town the week of Dec. 16 to deal with a possible year-end government funding measure.
“My preference is we get this done before the end of the calendar year,” Hoyer told POLITICO. “We should’ve gotten it done by the end of the fiscal year, but certainly we ought to get it done by the end of the year.”
Republican and Democratic leaders are stuck on several key points in spending negotiations, including how much funding to allocate for President Trump’s border wall and limits on the administration’s ability to divert funds from the defense department to pay for border projects. Republicans have also pointed to House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a barrier to resolving the spending debate before the end of the year.