Senate Democrats suggested Friday that the upper chamber could come to a short-term agreement to extend government funding with House Republicans after all, which would put off the threat of a government shutdown for at least two more weeks.
“The plan Republicans are floating today sounds like a modified version of what Democrats were talking about. We’re glad they think it’s a good idea,” said Jon Summers, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “If we need a little more time to agree on a responsible path forward, we should pass a short-term CR for no longer than the next month.”
The statement, one of the warmest things that has been said in weeks between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over the issue, could be a sign that a government shutdown will be avoided in near term.
House Republicans unveiled a proposal Friday afternoon that funds the government through March 18 and includes $4 billion in cuts and completely terminates eight federal programs. The House is expected to pass the measure early next week, giving the Senate only a few days to pass it onto the president before the last government funding bill expires at midnight on March 4.
The House and Senate will use the two week extension of government funding to negotiate a long-term measure that will fund the government through the fiscal year.