House Republicans are drafting a continuing resolution (CR) that would run through March 22, but it’s not clear if Senate leaders will accept a six-week stopgap, reports CQ. At a policy retreat in West Virginia on Thursday, GOP leaders from both chambers said they were confident there would not be a government shutdown when the current CR expires on Feb. 8, but the path toward a fifth stopgap remains uncertain. House conservatives and defense hawks have said it would be difficult for them to support another CR without assurances of increased defense funding for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Republican lawmakers also expressed optimism they could reach a bipartisan deal on raising the statutory budget caps that would allow appropriators to craft a year-end omnibus spending package. Negotiators have discussed a two-year agreement that could add nearly $300 billion in spending, but the two sides have yet to come to terms over the split between defense and non-defense funds.
Photo by Architect of the Capitol