Obama to Meet With Congressional Leaders on Funding Government

Senate negotiators worked through weekend on deal to avoid shutdown

The White House confirmed that President Barack Obama would talk to congressional leaders on Monday about a deal to keep the government running past September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The White House confirmed that President Barack Obama would talk to congressional leaders on Monday about a deal to keep the government running past September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted September 12, 2016 at 8:38am

President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders Monday to discuss funding the government to avoid a shutdown and to address the Zika virus.

Senate Republican and Democratic negotiators, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid, worked on a deal through the weekend that would fund the government for three months past Sept. 30, the end of current fiscal year.

The three-month stopgap spending bill on the table would include emergency aid to fight Zika as well as the fiscal 2017 Military Construction-VA bill, off-Hill sources with some knowledge of the talks said.

Lawmakers are crafting a straightforward, relatively clean continuing resolution that would extend funding to Dec. 9 at fiscal 2016 levels, the sources said. Congress would then have to return in a lame-duck session after the November elections to complete fiscal 2017 funding.

[Senators Might Skip Town ASAP]

Sources said a deal could be announced early this week.

Obama invited House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders to Monday’s meeting to discuss the administration’s priorities for the September session, according to multiple sources.

The White House confirmed that end-of-year spending would be on the meeting’s agenda.

The deal could allow senators to leave Washington at the end of this week or early next week to allow incumbents to campaign.

[House Heading Toward December CR With Possible Add-Ons]

In the House, some Republican members are divided over what should be included in the continuing resolution. Some members are pushing for a deal that would finalize one or more individual appropriations bills and use a CR for the remaining agencies. 

“There’s a lot of conflicting conundrums,” Arizona Rep. Trent Franks said last week. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said Friday that “we are now essentially out of money” to fight Zika and warned that there will be children born in the coming months with microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by abnormally small heads and impaired brain development. 

John T. Bennett, Bridget Bowman, Paul M. Krawzak, Niels Lesniewski and Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.