- White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday he couldn’t guarantee the federal government would avoid a shutdown in December.
- “Obviously, we want to keep the government funded,” Meadows said, according to a Capitol Hill pool report.
- Both parties are still negotiating and attempting to bridge policy divisions.
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White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Wednesday he couldn’t “guarantee” the federal government would avoid a shutdown in December.
While he did not rule out a shutdown, Meadows said both parties were trying to reach an agreement to finance government agencies and keep them open.
“Obviously, we want to keep the government funded,” Meadows said, according to a Capitol Hill pool report. He called it “a high priority.”
The Trump administration and Congress must approve a dozen spending bills to fund most government agencies by December 11, and those negotiations are ongoing. Both parties are still attempting to bridge divisions over public-health funding and childcare, among other issues.
Lawmakers could also strike an agreement on a “continuing resolution” that would maintain existing federal-agency funding for a short period of time. If neither outcome materialises, swaths of the government will shut down.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meadow’s comments come as Trump still refuses to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden defeated him. He appears to have mostly withdrawn from legislative matters while attempting to contest the election outcome.
Congress remains gridlocked on another coronavirus relief package, which many economists say is needed to support people and hard-hit businesses as virus cases surge nationwide.
There are no ongoing discussions between top congressional leaders on another federal rescue package so far. On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to restart relief talks.
McConnell on Wednesday said Republicans, Democrats, and the Trump administration all sought to approve an “omnibus” package that included the 12 separate spending bills for federal agencies.
“It’s our hope, and I think this is the speaker’s view as well, that we can come together on an omnibus and pass it,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill. “I believe that’s the preference of the White House as well.”
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