By Andrea Shalal and Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday said it was working with Congress to hammer out a short-term funding measure to avoid an Oct. 1 partial federal government shutdown while longer-term spending talks continue.
“It is clear that a short-term continuing resolution (CR) will be needed next month,” an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) spokesperson said in a statement. “OMB is providing Congress with technical assistance needed to avoid severe disruptions to government services in the first quarter of the fiscal year.”
Current funding for most government programs expires on Sept. 30. If no action is taken before the next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, large swaths of government functions would shut down.
The Washington Post first reported the OMB comments.
The need for a stop-gap spending bill — one that might extend through late November or early December — has been a foregone conclusion for months, and in recent years Congress has struggled over 12 funding bills to keep most federal programs operating.
With only weeks to go before the deadline, the Republican-led House of Representatives has approved only one of those 12 bills. Spending and tax measures normally originate in the House before moving to the Senate.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this month said he and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had agreed on a stopgap measure.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday told a business group in Kentucky: “I think we’re going to end up with a short-term congressional resolution, probably into December as we struggle to figure out exactly what the government’s spending level is going to be.”
Such a measure is expected to be attached to new emergency money to pay for natural disasters throughout the United States and to bolster Ukraine’s battle against Russia.
In its statement, OMB urged Congress to include emergency supplemental funding in any continuing resolution.
Details still must be worked out amid deep divisions among House Republicans.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Richard Cowan; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Andrea Ricci and Jonathan Oatis)