June 18, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Senate Republican and Democrat negotiators are nearing a deal on a short term spending measure intended to keep the government open after Oct. 1, according to people familiar with the talks.

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The Senate’s stopgap measure still would have to overcome gridlock in the Republican-controlled House, and Speaker Kevin McCarthy will face a tough choice on whether to even permit a vote on the emerging deal.

The Senate legislation would extend funding for 45 days and is not likely to include assistance to Ukraine for its continuing fight against Russia, the people said, asking not to be named discussing private negotiations. That’s a shorter time frame than the extension into December that Democrats originally wanted but could help get the bill through the House.

It remains unclear whether the Senate bill will include emergency disaster aid. That and the Ukraine fund, sought by the White House, have not been embraced by some House Republicans, particularly the Ukraine package.

Senate negotiators worked through the weekend and plan to continue their efforts into Tuesday morning. The Senate plans to begin voting on a Federal Aviation Administration bill Tuesday and that bill could become the vehicle for the stopgap measure.

So far, McCarthy has been unable to muster enough Republican votes for a rival stopgap measure that would cut spending by 27% and change border policies, something that the White House and Senate Democrats would reject. If McCarthy puts the Senate bill up for a vote, conservatives have threatened to try to oust him.

Moderate Republicans can force a vote on the Senate bill if it comes to the House but not before the Oct 1 shutdown deadline.

The Senate is considering stripping the Ukraine aid amid anticipated backlash from opponents including Republican senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have vowed to used procedural rules to delay any version that includes the aid.

The The $24 billion in Ukraine aid President Joe Biden requested could be packaged in a separate bill but that may languish without the pressure to keep the government open.

(Updates starting in first paragraph)

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