House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says the Senate and House members are poised to approve a temporary spending measure later this week that will keep the government open until December 3.
Neither the House nor Senate has completed action on annual spending bills that run the government. The deadline for all bills to be signed into law is September 30. So instead, Congress plans to pass a stopgap package that will run the government at the same levels approved for the current fiscal year.
The government would shut down if Congress failed to approve a temporary bill by the end of the month.
"I think you're going to know about it before I do," said Pelosi when asked what was in the bill as she emerged from a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).The Senate is expected to consider the bill Wednesday. The House could follow suit Wednesday night.
"Whatever the Senate passes - they'll send it over and we'll pass it," said Pelosi.
The December 3 date takes the Senate into the second week of a planned lame duck session a month after the election. The House has not published any sort of schedule for a lame duck session. But House members are anticipating a lame duck session as well.
The emergency spending bill is expected to be "clean" and free of most extraneous items. Both the House and Senate want to complete business at the end of this week so lawmakers can go home to campaign for the most-competitive midterm elections in 16 years.