What to Know in Washington: Senate Nears Bipartisan Stopgap Bill

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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 a person familiar with the talks.

The legislation would extend funding for four to six weeks, the person said. That’s a shorter time frame than the extension into December that Democrats originally wanted but could help get the bill through the House.

Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
The U.S. Capitol building

If the Senate can pass the stopgap bill and send it to the House, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will face a tough choice on whether to hold a vote.

It remains unclear whether the Senate bill will include emergency disaster aid or assistance to Ukraine for its continuing fight against Russia. These elements, 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 this morning. The Senate plans to begin voting on a FAA bill today that could become the vehicle for the stopgap measure.

So far, McCarthy has been unable to muster enough Republican votes for a rival stopgap measure. If McCarthy puts the Senate bill up for a vote, conservatives have threatened to try to oust him. Erik Wasson has the full story.

Meanwhile, moderate Republicans are working with Democrats on a rarely used procedure to protect themselves from the anticipated political backlash from a federal funding lapse.

The procedure, known as a discharge petition, was adopted by the House in 1910 as a check on the speaker’s power. It can be used to force a vote within nine “legislative days” when Congress is actually in session and has been successfully deployed just twice this century.

The plan puts vulnerable Republicans, including several from Democratic-friendly districts in New York, firmly at odds with hardliners in their own party and would deal a new blow to McCarthy. It could, however, also limit a disruptive shutdown that threatens to stretch for a month or more to a little more than a week.

(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Moderate GOP Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.)

Only five Republicans must join with Democrats to bring about the discharge petition. Reps. Mike Lawler and Marc Molinaro, both New York Republicans who represent areas President Joe Biden carried in 2020, already have publicly threatened to join Democrats and other GOP moderates are ready to do so too. Read the full story from Wasson and Billy House.


  • Biden will arrive in the Detroit metro area around 11:30 am and will join the UAW picket line at noon alonside union president Shawn Fain.
  • He’ll fly out in the afternoon to land in Santa Clara, Calif. around 7 pm, where he’ll participate in a campaign reception at 9:30pm.
  • The president will then depart for San Francisco, where he’ll arrive around 11 p.m.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a press gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to Wayne County, Mich.


  • The House meets today at 2 p.m. to tee up votes on fiscal ’24 spending bills.
  • Senators return today at 3 p.m. to vote on a House-passed FAA reauthorization bill, which may serve as a vehicle for a short-term spending bill.
  • For more details on the full agenda read BGOV’s Congress Tracker.

Congress Works to Avoid a Shutdown

HOUSE REPUBLICANS aim to mark up their final two government-funding bills with little time before the Saturday night deadline to avert a shutdown.

  • The earliest House appropriators could mark up their Commerce-Justice-Science and Labor-HHS-Education bills is Thursday, a House Republican aide said.
  • That pushes back an earlier plan to start markups tomorrow, as leaders simultaneously push to pass other funding bills on the House floor. Read more.

People, Power, and Politics

ASA HUTCHINSON failed to qualify for the second debate of the 2024 Republican primary season and Trump continues to boycott the televised matchups.

  • Tomorrow’s debate will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Read more.

NIKKI HALEY says she told lawmakers that a shutdown would be “irresponsible and inexcusable” — even as she urged her party to rein in spending. Read more.

TRUMP accused prosecutors of trying to hamstring his 2024 presidential run by seeking to restrict what he can say about the federal election-obstruction case against him in Washington. Read more.

Court Happenings

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
The U.S. Supreme Court

THE SUPREME COURT will focus on workplace issues ranging from Job transfer as the basis of a discrimination lawsuit and the burden of proof for whistleblowers in retaliation cases during its upcoming term. Read more.

MEDICAL GROUPS claim that infusion therapy providers would be harmed if a federal judge dismisses a lawsuit challenging Medicare’s new drug price negotiation program. Attorneys representing the National Infusion Center Association wrote in a filing yesterday that drug pricing provisions will result in lower Part D reimbursements to centers administering medicines subject to negotiations. Read more.

EDDY CUE, Apple’s senior vice president of services, is set to testify today at the Justice Department’s trial against Google and plans to defend the lucrative deal that made Google’s search engine the default option on the iPhone, saying it was the best choice for consumers. Read more.

What Else We’re Watching

Union Slams Ford for Idling Michigan Battery Plant Project

Ford was blasted by the UAW for halting construction on a $3.5 billion battery plant in Michigan amid scrutiny of its ties to a Chinese battery maker by Republican lawmakers.

FCC Aims to Reinstate Net Neutrality After Democrats Get Control

The FCC is to announce plans today to reinstate so-called net neutrality rules governing broadband providers, according to people briefed on the matter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com; Jeannie Baumann in Washington at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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