House Speaker Paul Ryan warned Monday that Congress may need to work past the Dec. 11 deadline for a government funding bill, a sign Republicans and Democrats are still far apart on a final deal to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2016.
"Now I've got two big issues remaining; expiring tax provisions in the tax code, obviously funding the government, and that's what we're working on this week," Ryan told a local radio station Monday. "I am on my way to the airport right now. That's what we are working on this week, and it might take us more than just this week to get these issues put together correctly."
The possibility of an extension became clear last week, when Democrats warned they couldn't vote for the bill as envisioned by Republicans. Republicans have considered including language that would impose new restrictions on refugees, block EPA regulations and gut Wall Street reforms, and some want to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Democrats have said including any of these provisions would lead to a shutdown, and on Monday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was already starting to blame Republicans for another government shutdown. Reid said the only way to ensure government funding after this Friday is to remove policy language favored by Republicans.