Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that the Senate is preparing to pass a measure to fund the government until Dec. 9 — putting pressure on a divided House Republican conference before government funding runs dry at the end of this month.
Passage of the continuing resolution, which would fund the government at the current spending levels, could come as early as next week, McConnell said. He added that he was in talks with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the White House on the issue, particularly to work out differences over Zika funding.
Story Continued Below
“We’re in discussions about how to work out some of the differences we have that led to the Democrats filibustering Zika funding on multiple occasions,” McConnell said Wednesday. Though he’s been in touch with leaders in the House, McConnell added: “We think the Senate ought to be able to resolve the issues that confront us and go forward and we hope to do that very soon.”
Democrats have repeatedly filibustered a $1.1 billion Zika funding measure due to GOP-authored policy provisions they say are unacceptable, and it’s widely expected that some money to combat the virus outbreak will be included in the must-pass government spending measure by the end of the month. But Reid was cautious when asked whether he was hopeful those riders would be dropped, saying “we will see.”
“I’m hopeful [Republicans] understand the predicament they’ve created,” Reid said. “I’m willing to be patient while we go through the process of seeing what they’re going to put in the CR, but Zika, we’ve got to do something about that now.”
House GOP leaders have remained largely mum on their stance, though House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested Tuesday that he would also support a …