Politics

House Democrats unveil bill to avoid government shutdown, but McConnell slams lack of farm aid

Key Points
  • House Democrats released a bill Monday to fund the government until Dec. 11. 
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the plan, saying it "shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need."
  • Congress needs to pass a spending plan before Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown. 
  • The proposal does not include a White House request for more farm aid or additional school lunch assistance, a Democratic priority. 
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House to release bill to fund government to Dec. 11, sources tell CNBC

House Democrats released a bill Monday to fund the government until Dec. 11, but Senate Republicans quickly criticized it, leaving the path to a deal to prevent a shutdown unclear.

The plan, which would stop funding from lapsing after the Sept. 30 deadline, did not include a White House request for farm aid or additional school lunch assistance, a Democratic priority. In a tweeted statement Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the proposal "shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need." 

Democrats hope to vote on the bill as soon as this week. In a statement Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the plan would "avert a catastrophic shutdown in the middle of the ongoing pandemic," and called for lawmakers to resume talks toward coronavirus aid legislation.

The party and the Trump administration previously announced a tentative agreement to temporarily extend government funding without adding unrelated or potentially toxic provisions. The push to avoid a shutdown comes amid a protracted fight over how to structure a fifth pandemic relief package. 

The parties aim to avoid letting funding lapse ahead of the November election. The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Republicans' move to try to quickly confirm her successor, has added even more tension in Congress in the weeks before the election.

Pelosi said Sunday that she would not try to leverage the shutdown deadline to slow a nomination to the country's top court. 

"None of us has any interest in shutting down government," the California Democrat told the ABC program "This Week." 

Asked before the bill's release about the White House stance on the plan, Trump administration economic advisor Larry Kudlow said "we do prefer additional farm aid" in the proposal. However, he did not say whether the White House would support or oppose the legislation.

Disclosure: Larry Kudlow is a former CNBC contributor.

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