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Hill Republicans plan two-week stopgap bill to avert shutdown

Hill Republicans plan two-week stopgap bill to avert shutdown
Posted at 12:57 PM, Nov 30, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday plans to pass a short-term funding bill to keep the government open while budget talks continue for a longer-term solution.

Ryan did not say how long the stopgap spending bill would last, but multiple aides expect it will last through the Friday before Christmas, December 22.

In a preview of the coming fight, Ryan also called out the opposing party in his announcement, saying, "If the Senate Democrats choose to filibuster that, they will have chosen to shut the government down, something that we do not want to see."

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, hearing word of Ryan's approach, signaled Republicans in his chamber would likely back the plan.

"If that's what the House does, then I think we're kind of stuck with that but it's not optimal in my view," he said, referencing that short-term spending bills aren't the best way to operate the government.

A top Senate Democratic aide predicted enough Democrats would go along with the two-week bill to provide the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate. The aide said Democrats would push for other issues unresolved issues -- like children's health insurance and immigration issues -- would be added to a government funding bill to keep the government open passed December 22.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said negotiations over the spending bill are ongoing, but made a point to shift blame to the GOP if no agreement is reached.

"The Republicans have a majority in the House and the Senate and the White House, the responsibility to keep the government open is theirs in the majority," Pelosi said.

Funding for the government is set to expire December 8.