Senior U.S. Lawmaker Sees Spending Deal by the End of Thursday

Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Nita Lowey, the Democratic head of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, said on Thursday she expects a deal by the end of Thursday to avert a government shutdown amid Congress’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Lowey told reporters the legislation would be for the 2020 fiscal year. She provided no further details.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said discussions with senior lawmakers on the spending legislation had been “productive.”

The government’s fiscal year stretches from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. While Congress passed a spending bill last month that Trump signed, it only extended funding for federal agencies through Dec. 20.

But the passage of a longer-term government spending bill had been thrown into doubt as the House of Representatives debates whether it should pass articles of impeachment against Trump, which would lead to a trial in the Senate.

At the center of the debate is a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump appeared to press Zelenskiy into investigating one of his domestic political rivals in return for a White House meeting or the release of U.S. security aid.

The U.S. government was last shut down for 35 days in December and January, when Congress refused Trump’s demand for billions of dollars to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico. He has since used “emergency” authority to shift funds for the wall from an assortment of projects.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Marguerita Choy)

What do you think?

U.S. Senate Confirms John Sullivan as Next U.S. Ambassador to Russia

Graham Is ‘Ready’ for ‘Crock’ Impeachment in the Senate, Says He Doesn’t ‘Need Any Witnesses’