Several Democratic Senators, including Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (Mich.), have called for passing a bill providing Defense Department funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, regardless of what happens with the larger negotiations.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Congress should pass a short-term bill to fund the Pentagon at minimum.
“That’s a very logical thing that we should do,” said Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats. “Everybody agrees that we should do it, at least for a week.”
Lieberman said Reid was not optimistic in Thursday’s caucus meeting that a shutdown could be avoided, primarily because Republicans don’t appear to be willing to budge on the EPA and Planned Parenthood riders.
“Yesterday he was optimistic, today he’s pessimistic,” Lieberman said of Reid.
Conrad said Republicans were still pushing to include many other riders, including provisions on mountaintop mining, Wall Street reform and D.C. school vouchers.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.