House Republican leaders are likely to try averting a partial government shutdown next week by extending talks on a longer-term funding deal until just before Christmas and possibly again into early 2018, senior House GOP aides said Thursday.
Up against a Dec. 8 spending deadline, House Republican leaders are likely to introduce a measure that would extend current funding until Dec. 22, said the aides, who were granted anonymity to describe private deliberations.
If negotiations on a longer-term deal to fund the government are not resolved by that time, GOP leaders are prepared to pursue another stopgap plan that would kick the talks into January, the aides said.
Aides stressed that the plans are not finalized. House Republicans plan to gather Friday morning in the Capitol to discuss the matter, and leaders will begin assessing potential support.
It was not immediately clear whether the plan would have the support to pass both chambers of Congress, with lawmakers in both parties making demands on a host of issues.
Talks between Democrats and Republicans hit a speed bump this week as Democratic leaders decided not to attend a White House meeting with President Trump and congressional leaders after he launched a preemptive Twitter attack against them.
Among the issues negotiators in both parties are trying to hash out: where to set spending caps for domestic and military spending and whether to include provisions addressing immigration, health care and disaster relief as part of the package.
A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are saying they will vote against any spending bill if Congress has failed to address the fate of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
The House and Senate must ultimately sign off on a spending bill before it can go to Trump’s desk for his signature.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the emerging House plan.
Aides to top Democratic leaders also declined to comment.