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Dems discussing government funding bill into February

Congressional Democrats are discussing a stopgap bill to fund the government into February, sources told The Hill.

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump order on drug prices faces long road to finish line Overnight Defense: Dems divided on length of stopgap spending measure | Afghan envoy agrees to testify before House panel | Trump leans into foreign policy in campaign’s final stretch Pence seeks to boost Daines in critical Montana Senate race MORE (D-Calif.), asked about the possibility, said that it was discussed during a closed-door leadership meeting but no decision was made.

Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerRaces heat up for House leadership posts Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | ‘Markeyverse’ of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections Google, Apple, eBay to meet virtually with lawmakers for tech group’s annual fly-in MORE (D-Md.) both held calls on Tuesday with the New Democrat Coalition, comprised of party centrists, with a source familiar with the discussion saying the plan for House Democrats “seems” to be to push for a continuing resolution (CR) into February. A House Democratic aide said that while discussions are ongoing “most Democrats prefer an end-date in 2021.”

The discussions come as Congress and the administration have until Sept. 30 to pass and have President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats, advocates seethe over Florida voting rights ruling Russian jets identified in Trump campaign ad calling for support for the troops Democratic Senate candidate ‘hesitant’ to get COVID-19 vaccine if approved this year MORE sign a bill to fund the government and avoid an election-year shutdown. 

Lawmakers are expected to use a CR, which would continue funding at fiscal year 2020 levels. Neither chamber has unveiled legislation yet, but Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Oracle confirms deal with TikTok to be ‘trusted technology provider’ | QAnon spreads across globe, shadowing COVID-19 | VA hit by data breach impacting 46,000 veterans On The Money: Battle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategy | Biden’s plans would increase revenue by T, spending by T, analysis says | Mnuchin: Now is not the time to worry about deficits Pelosi defends not speaking to Trump for almost a year MORE has said he wants to wrap up negotiations this week and Hoyer is eyeing a vote in the House early next week. 

Democrats have been privately haggling over what their strategy should be with the talks focusing on two options: Supporting a CR until December or pushing for a longer bill that goes into early next year. 

A shorter bill, supporters hope, would force Congress to reach a larger funding deal before the end of the year. But a bill that lasts into next year would take a lame-duck shutdown fight off the table and give Democrats more leverage if Democratic nominee Joe Biden is elected president. 

Neither Pelosi nor Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSunday shows – Trump team defends coronavirus response Economist Moore calls on Pelosi, Schumer to ‘get a deal done’ amid stimulus stalemate McConnell: Chance for coronavirus deal ‘doesn’t look that good right now’ MORE (D-N.Y.) have publicly committed themselves to a timeline.

But pushing for a CR into next year would put them at loggerheads with Republicans, who are backing a bill that lasts until mid-December. 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThis week: House returns for pre-election sprint Battle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategy GOP senators say coronavirus deal dead until after election MORE (R-Ala.) on Tuesday floated a bill that would fund the government through Dec. 18.

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