White House, Reid Say They’d OK Short-Term Funding Bill To Avoid Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., left, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. With Reid is Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY., right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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As the Sept. 30 deadline to fund the federal government approaches and conservatives dig in on a fight to defund Planned Parenthood, the White House and Senate Democratic leadership signaled they would be open to a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

From the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that any short-term bill must be “clean.”

“That means, no riders, nothing with Planned Parenthood. Nothing with repealing what the Environmental Protection Agency has done. No repealing what the Dodd-Frank bill put into effect to stop us from having another Wall Street meltdown,” Reid said. “No riders dealing with immigration. Just a clean continuing resolution for a short period of time to allow us to do a more full, more complete deal in the very near future.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday afternoon that President Obama would be willing to sign such a short-term spending resolution, The Hill reported, acknowledging the president’s promise to veto any funding bill that would lock in the sequestration-level limits on government spending.

“I think we would perceive an internal contradiction between the word ‘short term’ and ‘lock in,’” Earnest said.

Congressional negotiators face a tight schedule to work out a deal. The Senate has another round of votes on the Iran deal scheduled this week, and next week’s legislative activity will be interrupted by Yom Kippur, Pope Francis’ speech in the Capitol, and a visit by the Chinese president.

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