(CNSNews.com) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says lawmakers are “moving forward on a bipartisan basis” to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, but they have a way to go.
“Hopefully we’ll reach that agreement sometime in the next couple of days.”
If not, government funding will be temporarily interrupted, and Democrats already are threatening to blame Republicans for a “government shutdown.” A temporary spending bill, or continuing resolution (CR), could bridge the funding gap if one opens, but McConnell wouldn’t discuss that:
“I don’t want to start talking about a short-term CR on a Tuesday,” he told a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re hoping to reach an agreement in the next few days on how to process the entire (omnibus spending) bill through September 30th, and I don’t want to speculate whether that can actually clear this week, but we’re working on a permanent agreement through September 30th.”
On another topic, tax reform, McConnell said it’s “pretty clear we’re going to have to use a reconciliation vehicle,” or legislation that can pass the Senate with 51 votes, “because today’s Democratic Party is very different from the Democratic Party in the 80s, which was very interested in pro-growth tax reform.”
McConnell said today’s Democratic Party “seems to be preoccupied with wealth transfer from those who have done well to those who have done less well.” But he said that issue is unrelated to producing tax laws that promote economic growth.
McConnell said the two things that will get the economy growing again are deregulation and comprehensive tax reform, both of which will bring companies back to America.
“Regretfully, we don’t expect to have any Democratic involvement in that, so we will have to reach agreement among ourselves, which will require using a reconciliation vehicle.”