Lawmakers are announcing a “framework” for the law so as not to keep the government open

WASHINGTON – Lawmakers leading negotiations on a bill to fund the federal government for the current fiscal year announced on Tuesday that they had agreed on a “framework” that should allow them to start work on the bill over the next week complete and avoid government shutdown.

Congress faces a deadline of midnight Friday to pass spending legislation to prevent a partial government shutdown. By then, the two chambers are expected to pass another short-term measure to keep the government running until December 23, which will give negotiators time to complete work on the full-year bill.

“Now the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will work around the clock to negotiate the details of the final 2023 spending bills that can be endorsed by the House and Senate and signed by President Biden,” said Democratic leader Rep. Connecticut’s Rosa DeLauro of the House Budget Committee.

Earlier in the day, Senate leaders said lawmakers from both parties were nearing a deal, but Republicans warned Democrats lawmakers must complete their work by Dec. 22 or they would only support a short-term extension until early next year . That would give House Republicans more leverage over what goes into legislation, since they will then be in the majority.

“We intend to be on our way home on the 23rd. We intend not to be back here between Christmas and New Years, and if we cannot meet that deadline, we would like to pass a short-term (resolution) by early next year,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican Senate leader .

McConnell expressed confidence that Republicans would be able to meet their defense spending increase priorities without having to pay “a bonus in excess of what President Biden has requested” for non-defense priorities. He said Democrats are willing to accept it because they previously passed two party-line-based bills that allow more government spending on various domestic priorities.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said last week that the two parties are about $25 billion apart in a package expected to be about $1.65 trillion, not including mandatory spending on programs like Social Security and Medicare . However, the Democrats did not specify in their statements what topline spending number had been reached within the framework announced on Tuesday.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Lawmakers are announcing a “framework” for the law so as not to keep the government open

Sarah Y. Kim

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