January 28, 2023

Lawmakers are moving to avoid a shutdown, citing progress toward a spending deal

WASHINGTON — The House is set to pass a week-long spending bill Wednesday to avoid a government shutdown later this week, as top lawmakers rush to secure a growing deal on a broad spending package to keep federal programs running next fall.

The measure, on track for approval Wednesday evening, would buy time to finalize an agreed-upon outline for a long-term package expected to total $1.7 million, backed by party leaders, announced late Tuesday by three senior lawmakers in both parties. Although no details were given on Trillion, lawmakers expressed hope that it would smooth the way for final action before Christmas to settle remaining disputes and fund the government.

“We have a framework that provides a path forward for an omnibus act next week,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee. He added that the groups were ready to “work around the clock” to complete the legislation. His comments were echoed by Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont’s Democrat, and Senate Appropriations Chairman and the committee’s top Republican, Senator Richard C. of Alabama. Echoed by Shelby et al.

House Republicans rejected the deal. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader hoping to become speaker and struggling to win over far-right colleagues who oppose government spending, urged his constituents to vote against such a funding package and held a news conference Wednesday. His objections.

“We can’t afford to spend like the Democrats,” Mr. McCarthy said.

But in the House, Democrats have the votes to pass the legislation without Republican support if they are united behind it.

News of the broad outline comes days before government funding expires at midnight on Friday. The House considered a one-week adjournment Expenditure Bill It will be extended till December 23. The bill will then go to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before Friday’s deadline.

With Republicans set to take control of the House in January and retiring lawmakers defending a final round of fiscal priorities, Democrats and many Senate Republicans are less interested in letting talks drag into the new year.

But House Republicans, including Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, have said such a delay would be the only responsible course of action when her party is in line to lead the appropriations committee in January.

With the support of a handful of senators, they have pushed through a short-term spending measure that would fund the government until the opening days of the next Congress in January. Pressure for sharp cost cuts.

“House Republicans will work toward a spending deal that cuts wasteful spending, lowers inflation and prioritizes border security and national security,” Ms. Granger said at an afternoon news conference ahead of the vote. “We must stop this uncontrolled spending.”

But some Republicans fear the consequences could be disastrous for their party’s new majority, leading to a shutdown that would show the party’s dysfunction just as much as the restoration of power on Capitol Hill.

“I don’t think any new Congress should be forced to do the work of the last Congress, especially if you’re changing control,” said Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, one of several Republicans in the upper chamber who is retiring. At the end of the year. “I think that’s asking for bigger problems.”

Weeks of spending talks have been dogged by disagreements over how to divide money between military and domestic programs. Republicans block increasing their share of domestic funding, and Democrats have committed trillions of dollars to climate, health care and social safety net spending over the past two years over their unanimous opposition.

Mr. Shelby, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, said the total amount for the spending structure is about $1.7 trillion, though he declined to provide specifics. He described the level of spending for the Democrats’ prize for domestic programs as “we think we can live with.”

Aides in both parties agreed that Democrats would agree to a higher overall military spending figure because Republican votes are needed to overcome a 60-vote filibuster threshold in the evenly divided Senate. Lawmakers were expected to add about $858 billion in military spending — the number A Defense Policy Bill It is expected to pass the Senate this week.

“As a reward for adequately funding our national security, Republicans are not going to give the commander-in-chief’s own party more liberal spending — it’s not going to happen,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader. Wednesday morning talk. He added: “A framework agreement does not mean the hard work is over. It means that the hard work will finally begin.

Lawmakers and aides are scrambling not only to finalize the details of a broad government funding measure that runs through September 2023, but also to agree on what other legislation could be included in the final legislative package due this year.

Emergency aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia, funds to help local communities recover from hurricanes and other natural disasters last year, and former President Donald J. The move was expected to include an overhaul of Trump’s law, the Election Counting Act. A failed attempt to exploit his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

Lawmakers wrestled with the possibility of adding several tax extensions, such as an overdue expansion of monthly allowances for most families with children, and a series of bipartisan health and science bills.

Katie Edmondson Contributed report.