Fri Nov 8, 2019, 01:10 PM

December stopgap funding seems likely

Congressional leaders and the White House agree they’ll need another three or four weeks to wrap up negotiations on 12 annual spending bills, and are likely to extend stopgap funding to Dec. 13 or Dec. 20, a decision that may finally propel the fiscal 2020 appropriations process forward.

The biggest hurdle remains how to divvy up discretionary funds under the July budget caps agreement, which outlines a ceiling of $632 billion in nondefense appropriations, not counting certain extras above the cap negotiated in prior budget accords.

Democrats have argued that Senate Republicans shouldn’t be proposing an 8 percent boost for the Department of Homeland Security — including $5 billion for President Donald Trump’s border wall request — at the same time they are proposing just a 1 percent boost for the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, given the limited resources.

Earlier this week, sources suggested the White House might not stick to its $8.6 billion border wall demand. But there is significant work to be done, Shelby and Schumer acknowledged.

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