WASHINGTON – Disputes over potential add-ons were holding up a deal Monday on a monthlong stopgap funding measure needed to avoid a partial government shutdown starting Thursday at midnight.
The continuing resolution is expected to keep the government open through Dec. 20 and fund agencies mostly at spending rates held over from fiscal 2019. But House Democrats want exemptions and policy riders in the resolution that the White House and Republicans argue should instead be dealt with in a fiscal 2020 wrap-up as soon as next month.
"We expect a clean [continuing resolution] without provisions that can be dealt with in the regular appropriations process, which we continue to work in earnest," a senior administration official said.
Provisions that House Democrats were pushing included extra money for the 2020 census, equal to the $7.6 billion rate of spending for the Census Bureau approved by the Senate late last month.
Democrats also want to include funding to support a 3.1% military pay raise, and to block a provision of the 2015 highway authorization law that would automatically cut $7.6 billion in formula funding for the states on July 1, 2020.
According to sources familiar with the talks, the census funding and transportation rescission were causing problems with some Republicans. But it seemed likely that at minimum the military pay provision would be included as well as the higher rate of census spending.
The measure was also expected to extend numerous expiring health care programs that were temporarily renewed in the most recent stopgap law, such as funding for community health centers and teaching hospitals.
The House and Senate are expected to vote on the measure before the current funding bill expires Thursday.