• Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

Deadline nears as Congress continues negotiations

Deadline nears as Congress continues negotiations


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Washington, DC.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Washington, DC. Andrew Harnik/AP

All eyes are on the Senate after the House passed a bill with broad bipartisan support to avert a government shutdown.

While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hasn’t said he will bring up the bill, Democrats in the chamber huddled on the Senate floor after the House vote.

While some Democratic senators, including Sen. Jeanne Shaheed, said they were “disappointed” by the lack of Ukraine aid in the bill, at least two other Democratic senators have expressed optimism that they can pass the bill.

Sen. Joe Manchin said while heading to a caucus meeting, “Cooler heads prevailing; we’ll have no shutdown.”

When asked if the Senate would pass the bill before midnight, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told CNN earlier Saturday, “I’m sure they want that to happen.”

Meanwhile, Republican senators are signaling that they think they can keep the government open. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that there “is growing hope we may actually avoid a shutdown.”

Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin said he believes Schumer will have to bring it up because so many House Democrats voted for the bill. 

“That’s a pretty strong bipartisan vote,” Mullin said. “It puts Schumer in a really bad position not to support that. So absolutely, at that point, if he doesn’t do it, it becomes a Schumer shutdown, not a McCarthy shutdown.”

One major hurdle for the Senate’s quick consideration of government funding had been GOP Sen. Rand Paul’s vow to slow down any spending bill with Ukraine funding attached. This version does not include that funding, and Paul has said he would not object to a time agreement — meaning it could pass the Senate before the midnight deadline. 



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