House set to vote on a plan to dodge a government shutdown for two months

Key Points
  • The House could vote as early as Thursday on a bill to keep the government running through mid-November. 
  • The Democratic-held chamber is trying to avoid another government shutdown as funding is set to expire after Sept. 30. 
  • The House and Senate are struggling to agree on specific spending levels after passing a two-year deal to set budget levels and raise the U.S. debt ceiling. 
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CAlif) holds her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. September 12, 2019.
Aurora Samperio | NurPhoto | Getty Images

The House will vote as early as Thursday on a short-term spending bill to dodge another government shutdown for two months.

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee introduced a plan to keep the government funded through Nov. 21. The full Democratic-held chamber plans to move forward with the bill Thursday afternoon and could hold a final vote later in the day.

Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass legislation to keep the government running. If it fails to, funding will lapse again about eight months after the longest shutdown in U.S. history ended.

Last month, lawmakers approved a plan to both set federal budget levels and raise the U.S. debt ceiling for two years. But lawmakers still need to decide where exactly to allocate the money, which has been a rocky process during the Trump administration as the president and Democrats spar over border security funding.

The so-called continuing resolution would keep funding at current levels through mid-November. It would avoid the threat of a shutdown while lawmakers hash out the specifics of spending for fiscal year 2020.

"After we pass this CR and the Senate moves forward with their process, I look forward [to] negotiating responsible bills that uphold our values and give working families a better chance at a better life," House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said in a statement Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has signaled he would support a short-term fix to prevent a shutdown. While the House has passed the vast majority of the 11 federal appropriations bills, the Senate has lagged behind in approving the spending measures.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats blocked GOP efforts to move forward with spending bills for the Defense Department and other agencies. The party argues Republicans have neglected key domestic programs and military funding by yielding to Trump's demands for more funding for barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a statement Wednesday, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said, "[T]he fiscal year ends soon, and this is no time for partisan politics."

"The terms of the bipartisan budget deal are designed to keep partisanship out of the appropriations process so we can do our job," he said. "Both parties agreed to those terms; both parties must uphold them for the good of our men and women in uniform and for our country. I encourage my colleagues to move forward in that spirit today, not revert to the partisanship and chaos of past budget years."

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