Congressional negotiators will reach an agreement on government funding before Friday’s deadline

WASHINGTON — US Congressional envoys Tuesday said they had reached an agreement on funding the government through the end of its current fiscal year as lawmakers struggled to meet a midnight Friday deadline when existing funds run out.

They did not say how much money they had agreed on and did not provide details in statements from three key negotiators, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Republican Sen. Richard Shelby and Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro.

“If all goes well, we should be able to complete a bulk grant package by December 23,” Shelby said in a statement.

The news came hours after the House of Representatives began delaying a stopgap on spending to avoid a partial shutdown that would otherwise begin on Friday and allow time for the passage of comprehensive financial statements, which are expected to be more than 1.5 $ trillion in funding and will run through fiscal year-end 9/30/2023.

A first procedural vote on the makeshift law was scheduled for Wednesday.

The Omnibus bill for the year is also expected to include new emergency funds to help Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces.

Ukraine could get billions more after Biden asked Congress for $37 billion last month.

It is also expected to introduce an independent bill reforming the way Congress certifies US presidential elections.

The latter aims to avoid a repeat of the deadly turmoil of Jan. 6, 2021, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump sought to halt Biden’s certification as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had said his Republicans wanted work on the omnibus bill to be completed by Dec. 22. “We intend to be on our way home on the 23rd,” he told reporters ahead of the deal.

Any negotiations over the funding bill would be more complicated next year when Republicans take control of the House of Representatives.

Conservative Republicans are calling for deep domestic spending cuts that Democrats want to avoid. Congressional negotiators will reach an agreement on government funding before Friday’s deadline


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