Schumer blocks one-week stopgap funding bill
BY JORDAIN CARNEY - 04/27/17 08:01 PM EDT
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday objected to a deal on passing a one-week stopgap government funding bill, citing concerns about ongoing negotiations over a larger spending agreement.
Schumer said there were still unresolved "poison pill riders" being worked out on a longer spending deal that would fund the government through Sept. 30.
"Our position has been clear and it's nothing new. No poison pill riders. The sooner we can resolve this issue, the quicker we can have an agreement on appropriations for 2017, so I object," he said from the Senate floor.
He added that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been "cooperative and extremely helpful" but Democrats want to work on the remaining hurdles to a long-term deal before they can agree to pass the short-term continuing resolution (CR).
McConnell had asked for unanimous consent – which requires the agreement of every senator – to allow the Senate to automatically approve the one-week CR once it passes the House on Friday.
"Colleagues, it's my understanding that the four corners who are working on the omnibus appropriation are very, very close to agreement. We still need a few days to process the larger bill," McConnell said from the Senate floor ahead of his request.
He added that Republicans were "prepared to clear" the stopgap funding bill, but Schumer objected.
The House on Wednesday night introduced the one-week bill to fund the government through May 5. The move is intended to give leadership more time to finalize and process an agreement on a full-year deal.
Schumer has pointed to concerns about environmental regulations, Dodd-Frank protections and rolling back healthcare as outstanding issues on the long-term talks.
Lawmakers have until Friday night to pass the stopgap bill in order to avoid a shutdown.
The Senate is poised to return Friday at 11 a.m.
McConnell's office noted that Republicans have all signed off on the CR, and it could pass either by unanimous consent or by a voice vote if Democrats sign on.
McConnell added after the back-and-forth on the floor on Thursday that if lawmakers don't pass the CR, thousands of miners and their families will lose their healthcare — a key concern for Democrats.
But Schumer said they could pass the stopgap measure if "the Republican leader of the Senate, the speaker of the House, just agree to no poison pill riders."