House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have reached an informal agreement to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, a source familiar with the discussions confirmed to CBS News. The two agreed that any legislation to keep the government open past the Sept. 30 funding deadline should be “clean,” meaning absent of any controversial provisions.
The informal accord comes as Congress remains in a stalemate over passing any new coronavirus relief legislation. The stop-gap measure to keep the government open would sidestep any major funding battles ahead of the November election. A senior Senate GOP aide also confirmed to CBS News that the White House has reached out to lawmakers about a short-term continuing resolution until December.
The last government shutdown occurred in late 2018 and early 2019 and lasted for 35 days, the longest in American history, after President Trump insisted on more funding to build a wall on the southern border.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany expressed confidence that a deal would be reached, telling reporters Thursday that “we do believe that we’ll be able to get funding to avoid a shutdown.”
The Senate is expected to return to Washington on September 8, and the House will reconvene on September 14.
Although the House passed its own $3 trillion coronavirus relief package in May, the legislation is a nonstarter with Senate Republicans and the White House.