Top US Senate Democrat Schumer shows tentative support for Republican short-term funding bill

By Moira Warburton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top U.S. Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer on Monday expressed tentative support for U.S. House Republicans’ short-term funding bill that would keep the U.S. government open past this weekend.

Any bill keeping government open past the current Nov. 17 funding cliff “will have to avoid pushing steep cuts and poison pills” that hardline Republicans have demanded, he cautioned in a floor speech. He added that he was “pleased that Speaker (Mike) Johnson seems to be moving in another direction.”

Johnson has proposed a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, that would keep spending at fiscal year 2023 levels until January and February for different parts of the government.

“The speaker’s proposal is far from perfect, but the most important thing is it refrains from making steep cuts,” Schumer said.

Hardline Republicans have rejected this plan because it does not include steep budget cuts, but Schumer’s tentative support means Johnson could potentially afford to lose their votes and pass his CR with Democratic support.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington)

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