Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was forced to push back a procedural vote on a stopgap funding measure, after senators were unable to come to agreement on politically sensitive issues, such as how to fund the federal response to the Zika virus. Congress must pass the measure, known as a Continuing Resolution (CR), by September 30, in order to keep the government funded into the next fiscal year.
Majority Leader McConnell initially scheduled the vote for last Thursday but postponed it until Monday night, September 19, to give senators more time resolve issues. The CR is expected to fund the government into December.
“We’re continuing to negotiate text for the short-term CR, the Zika bill, and moving the bill until Monday night will allow us to move forward next week,” Majority Leader McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday.
House leadership has indicated that, like the Senate, they have not reached an agreement on how to fund the government past September 30. House Appropriations Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) expects the final details of the CR and a Zika response plan to be released this week. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) warned Republicans not add ideological policy riders to the CR.
The Obama Administration and several lawmakers have requested that the CR include emergency funding for Louisiana to help the state recover from severe flooding in August. (See related article in this Memo to Members.)