House GOP Offers 1-Week Stopgap Funding Measure To Avoid Shutdown

Bill Clark/CQPHO

House Republicans on Wednesday night introduced a stopgap funding measure to keep the government open through May 5 while lawmakers work on a final agreement for legislation to fund the government through September.

The measure, introduced by House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), would keep the government open at current funding levels, according to a statement from Frelinghuysen’s office.

“This Continuing Resolution will continue to keep the government open and operating as normal for the next several days, in order to finalize legislation to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year,” Frelinghuysen said in the statement. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon. It is time that this essential work is completed so that critical programs and activities – including national defense –are properly and adequately funded for the year.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) issued a statement supporting the passage of the one-week spending measure.

“We’ve made substantial progress on an agreement to complete the 2017 appropriations process.  Let’s pass this new continuing resolution, and make good use of this extra time to enact overdue legislation to provide for national defense and meet our country’s needs,” Cochran said in a statement Wednesday night.

Earlier on Wednesday, the White House signaled to Democrats that it would continue paying Obamacare subsidies, which Democrats had demanded be guaranteed in the measure to fund the government through September.

With the administration also indicating that President Donald Trump is willing to sign a funding measure that does not include money for a border wall, Congress and the White House have resolved two major issues that threatened the funding legislation. However, Democrats have raised additional smaller issues that they need addressed before agreeing to a final funding package.

“Our major concerns in these negotiations have been about funding for the wall and uncertainty about the CSR payments crucial to the stability of the marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act.  We’ve now made progress on both of these fronts,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “More progress needs to be made on some of our priorities, and we continue to be concerned about poison pill riders that are still in this legislation.  Our appropriators are working in good faith toward a bipartisan proposal to keep government open.”

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