Senate Appropriations chair endorses funding stopgap to avoid shutdown

Senate Appropriations chair endorses funding stopgap to avoid shutdown

Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray said Congress will need to pass a stopgap funding measure to avoid a shutdown next week, the latest Hill acknowledgment that lawmakers won’t be able to finish their work on four spending bills before the first deadline.

The Washington Democrat, in an interview, declined to endorse a specific timeline, in part because she is still negotiating with House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger on funding levels for each individual appropriations bill.

Congressional leaders clinched a topline funding deal for the rest of the year, but finishing it could take weeks. Two government shutdown deadlines are bearing down on Congress: Jan. 19 and Feb. 2.

“I do not want to be a pessimist. But I am a realist. These bills are going to take a lot of work. And we are working as hard as we can, but we have to be realistic. We are not going to get this done in a week,” Murray told POLITICO.

She said an end date for a stopgap bill may depend on how full-year funding negotiations go over the coming days. Senate Minority Whip John Thune suggested Tuesday that Congress could need a short-term funding measure into March to finish work on all 12 bills.

“This is hard, and it’s gonna take some time. We want to do it right. It doesn’t help that we’re here in January and just got a top line,” Murray said.

Speaker Mike Johnson has declined to endorse a short-term continuing resolution, which he wants to avoid. Top Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Thune, however, have acknowledged Congress will need one to avoid a shutdown.

Go to Source