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WASHINGTON — With government funding set to expire at the end of Friday, House and Senate leaders are backing a two-week continuing resolution, through Dec. 22, to avert a government shutdown and buy more time to reach a 2018 funding deal.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told reporters that Republicans expect to vote this week to pass a short-term funding bill through Dec. 22 to “give us a little room to talk” about a bipartisan deal to ease statutory budget caps for defense and non-defense.
Though House GOP conservatives are pushing for a Dec. 30 CR, McConnell said, “I don’t think that’s the best way to go forward.”
McConnell is expected to meet Thursday to discuss spending issues with President Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York; House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, told Defense News in an interview Saturday he would support a CR that lasts through Dec. 22 — and nothing further.
“I would not support a CR past Christmas and really this two-week CR is just to give a little more time to negotiate and move this along,” Thornberry said.
“I’m afraid that if you take a continuing resolution into the new year, it will easily slip into a year-long continuing resolution,” Thornberry said. “As hard as it’s been to have it for the first quarter, it would be devastating to have it for the rest of the year.”