House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he’s confident Congress will be able to pass a stop-gap spending bill, and dodge a government shutdown before Friday’s deadline.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a continuing resolution Thursday, which Democrats have vowed to block, largely over their demand funding for the Flint, Mich., water crisis be included in the must-pass legislation. But the California Republican said it’s possible Flint funding will be moved through a different vehicle — the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).
While the House version of WRDA doesn’t currently have funding language attached for the matter, the Senate version, which has already passed the upper chamber, includes $220 million in Flint funding.
“It’s in the Senate version,” McCarthy told reporters Monday, adding he believes it’s the best place for Congress to deal with the issue. “We just have to go to conference.”
The majority leader argued the bill McConnell introduced is a clean continuing resolution and tackles issues including flood funding, and Democrats don’t have a reason to vote against the measure since Flint will likely be taken care of in conference.
“Yeah, I mean, look at what McConnell has proposed, what are you going to say no to in that?” he said. “One, the Democrats have been voting opposed to, not just opposed to Zika, but bringing up the bill — and we passed this out of the House in June.”
Republicans have alleged Democrats are purposefully delaying the process to hold Republicans in Washington to prevent them from going home and campaigning.
“So you’re not playing games, it seems to me as though Democratic leadership wants to hold this out all the way till the last day to keep members here,” McCarthy continued. “We should forward, there is not reason to complain, there’s not a reason for this to be, with what McConnell has put up, it’s a very fair process, it’s a clean CR.”
A source from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s office told The Daily Caller News Foundation if Flint is passed through WRDA, it’s not impossible Democrats will vote for McConnell’s bill.
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