WASHINGTON – Negotiators in the U.S. Congress said Tuesday they had reached an agreement to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year, as lawmakers rushed to wait until midnight Friday when existing funds expire.
They did not say how much money they agreed to, and statements from the three main appropriations negotiators, Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat, did not provide any details.
“If all goes well, we should have December 23rd to finalize the omnibus appropriations package,” Shelby said in a statement.
The news comes hours after the House began moving a stopgap spending bill to avert a partial shutdown that would begin on Friday, which would have cut more than $1.5 trillion in funding. will allow time to pass a full-year bill that is expected to include. until the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2023.
The first procedural vote on the stopgap bill was held on Wednesday.
The full-year “omnibus” bill is also expected to include new emergency funding to help Ukraine fight Russian forces.
Ukraine could get billions more after Biden asked Congress for $37 billion last month.
It is also expected to be included in an unrelated bill that would reform the way Congress certifies US presidential elections.
The second is aimed at preventing a repeat of the deadly riots on January 6, 2021, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump tried to stop Biden from being certified as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his Republicans want to work on the omnibus bill by Dec. 22. “We intend to return home on the 23rd,” he told reporters ahead of the deal.
Any negotiations on the funding bill will be further complicated next year when Republicans take control of the House majority.
Conservative Republicans and Democrats are calling for deep cuts in domestic spending.