Congress Rushes to Reach Spending Deal as Deadline Looms

Congressional negotiators are scrambling to reach a deal that would allow the House to vote on several spending bills this week, with just 11 days left to avert a shutdown, according to aides close to the talks.

Leaders of both parties are attempting to finish the long-stalled negotiations early this week, with a number of lingering policy items — including tricky immigration-related provisions — still under discussion.

Reaching a deal this week would be a major achievement for a Congress that has sent zero spending bills to the president’s desk, more than two months into the start of the fiscal year.

The House passed a majority of its bills earlier this year, while the Senate passed a package that includes one-third of the bills. But the two sides can’t agree on what version of those bills to send to Trump.

Both chambers are far behind on the appropriations process compared to last year, when the federal government was sent sputtering into a month-long shutdown because of disagreement over Trump’s border wall. Trump eventually agreed to end the standoff, but later circumvented Congress to secure billions of dollars for his border project anyways.

This year, the wall remains a sticking point, but Republican and Democratic leaders say they anticipate other immigration-related provisions, like the number of detention beds in the Department of Homeland Security, to be a bigger issue.