WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) — The House of Representatives voted on Friday to fund the operations of the federal government for another five days while it works to reach agreement on a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.
The move avoided a government shutdown, which would have been triggered if a bill were not passed by midnight.
Congress now has until Dec. 16 to pass a bill to fund the operations of the government for another year.
The Senate approved the temporary spending bill by voice vote on Thursday and President Barack Obama, who has previously indicated he would likely approve a stopgap, spending bill, is expected to ratify it.
Lawmakers continue to negotiate terms of the omnibus bill and political “riders” that have been tacked onto it — like a crude oil export ban and the funding of the Syrian refugee program. But House members say they hope to have the full text of the bill posted by Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
“At this point, it is unfortunately necessary for us to have a little more time to complete our negotiations,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said — adding that there remain “many moving pieces.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he doesn’t expect first votes on the bill until Tuesday night.
Another possible delay for the omnibus bill might be a self-imposed policy by House Republicans that legislation be made publicly available for three days before voting on it.
If the bill is unveiled Monday, that would mean no vote until Wednesday — which means the Senate and White House may not get to it until Thursday or later. This scenario would require another short-term spending bill.