Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday said the Senate will likely vote on a short-term funding bill to stave off a government shutdown and buy time for spending talks.
Schumer said on the Senate floor that “members should be prepared to take quick action” on a one-week continuing resolution, which would freeze government funding levels temporarily as negotiators struggle to hash out a larger bipartisan deal on spending.
He added that he is “optimistic” lawmakers will be able to move swiftly to pass the stopgap bill, while also saying the goal is to give negotiators “time to finish a full funding bill before the holidays.”
“The benefits of an omnibus are as many as the number of citizens in America,” Schumer said. “All of us are better off when the government is fully equipped to provide vital services millions rely on.”
Lawmakers have until Friday to pass funding legislation to prevent a shutdown. And negotiators on both sides of the aisle are hopeful Congress will be able to approve a larger government funding omnibus for fiscal 2023, which began in October, before Christmas.
Democratic negotiators were expected to release new funding plans as early as Monday after bipartisan spending talks appeared to stall last week. But those plans were scrapped over the weekend after an aide said negotiators made progress in discussions.
A Senate Democratic aide told The Hill earlier Monday that Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrik Leahy (D-Vt.) felt that “sufficient progress in negotiations took place over the weekend to delay the introduction of the omnibus appropriations bill for the time being.”
His comments come as Republicans have pressed for spending Democrats secured in two packages passed without GOP support since last year – the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan – be factored into ongoing spending talks.
Lawmakers have had difficulty advancing in talks in recent days amid disputes over toplines for defense and nondefense spending, as well as a conflict over how veterans funding should be categorized in negotiations.
Negotiators say one of the biggest hold-ups preventing an agreement is a roughly $25 billion gap between what both sides say they want for discretionary spending.