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Congress eyes stopgap funding bill through March 11 to prevent shutdown

Lawmakers face a Feb. 18 deadline and don't have a full-year deal.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks at the Capitol on Dec. 3, 2021.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks at the Capitol on Dec. 3, 2021.Elizabeth Frantz / Reuters file

WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders are moving toward passing a stopgap bill through March 11 to prevent a government shutdown as negotiations continue on a full funding deal.

House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., introduced the three-week funding bill on Monday, calling it an effort to keep the federal government "up and running while Congress completes our important work."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House will likely pass a continuing resolution "this coming week" to buy time.

"Negotiations are very vigorous, and I think that we're going to get agreement both on the top line, how much spending is going to be, and how it will be spent," Hoyer said Sunday on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show."

"But it's not there yet so I expect to do a continuing resolution to continue the authorization for government to operate and be funded this coming week, and hopefully the Senate will do the same," he said.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he hasn't given up on reaching a larger deal.

"There’s still time," he said Thursday. "We’re still talking."

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., a senior appropriator and member of GOP leadership, said some senators in his caucus prefer to keep the government funded at existing levels, which date back to the Trump administration.

But he said they also want more spending on the military.

"Can’t have it all the ways," Blunt said.

Blunt said it's an "open question" how long the stopgap bill would run.

"My view would be to keep it as short as you can," he said. "We still have a likelihood of getting the final bill done."