Democrats unveil bill to fund government

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly news conference in the Capitol on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

Caroline Brehman | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

House Democrats released a bill Monday to fund the government until Dec. 11, as the party pushed to strike a spending deal with Republicans.

The plan, designed to avoid a shutdown before the Sept. 30 deadline, did not yet appear to have GOP support Monday. It did not include a White House request for farm aid or additional school lunch assistance, a Democratic priority. 

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 pandemic 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 coronavirus 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 ABC’s “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.

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