As a government shutdown looms, ABC News has learned that in an effort to buy congressional negotiators an additional week to strike a deal on a long-term resolution on spending levels for FY11, the House Appropriations committee Monday night will unveil a one-week Continuing Resolution cutting $12 billion over the next week while also funding the Pentagon for the rest of the fiscal year.
While congressional sources say the details and numbers of a short-term CR could change because the bill has not yet been filed, the chairman of the House Appropriations committee said late Monday night that negotiators are continuing to work on a deal to avert a government shutdown and that a bill could emerge later Monday night or in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
When asked whether time was running out on Congressional negotiators to cut a deal to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year or short-term, Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, told reporters Tuesday evening “if you watch the efforts later tonight, you may be impressed,” hinting at a deal emerging later Monday night.
As Rogers and House Speaker John Boehner prepare to sit down with their Senate Democratic counterparts and President Obama at the White House Tuesday morning, Rogers said they would discuss the CR to fund the government for the rest of FY11, and also the FY12 Budget that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is set to unveil Tuesday morning.
“We have a meeting tomorrow morning with the president and we will discuss all of the matters that are before us,” Rogers said. “We’re serious about trying to prevent a government shutdown. We’re also serious about cutting spending, and those are the two driving parameters of what we want to talk about.”
But the Senate has still not agreed to a deal of any length – short-term or long-term – and they also have not agreed to cutting $12 billion in one week.
The two previous short-term spending bills have cut spending by $2 billion per week, and the latest Republican move is designed to put pressure on Democrats to go along with significantly deeper cuts or face a shutdown.
But a government shutdown is still certainly in the cards.
A senior aide in the Office of the Speaker said that “at the Speaker’s direction, House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren will issue guidance to all members on how the House would operate in the event Senate Democrats shut down the government.”
“Because of the Senate's failure to do its job and pass legislation to cut spending and fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, Speaker Boehner made clear we have no choice but to prepare the House, and the American people, for a shutdown,” the aide said. “The discussion with Democrats will continue, but the House has an obligation to be ready if the White House and Senate Democrats choose to shut down the government.”
Asked about the prospects of another short-term CR passing the upper chamber, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman Jon Summers wrote in an email, "We're negotiating a long term CR."
After productive discussions late last week and into the weekend, Rogers blamed Reid for derailing negotiations on Sunday.
“We had begun this conversation I think it was last Thursday or so, and then it continued this past weekend, and staff and members stayed here to take part,” Rogers added. “We made fairly good progress on Saturday, on Sunday it ground to a halt, and Senator Reid has instructed staff not to agree to any policy riders and that all numbers had to go through him, so the Senate negotiators really had nothing that they could talk about.”
Throughout the evening GOP lawmakers emerged from the closed-door meeting portraying a sense of unity.
Rep. Michael Simpson said that House Republicans were “doing everything we can to avoid to avoid a shutdown.”
“If it is shutdown it’s because Harry Reid refuses to negotiate in good faith,” Simpson, R-Idaho, said. “He refuses to negotiate, he won’t let his people talk about the riders, he’s not serious about finishing the budget. The only interpretation of his refusal is that he wants to shut the government down. You can’t interpret it any other way.”
Rep. Rick Crawford told reporters that there is not an appetite among the House GOP Conference to shut down the government, and his “constituents don’t want a government shutdown.”
“We all agree that it’s the responsible thing to fund the government,” Crawford said. “At the end of the day think it’s the responsible thing to make sure troops are funded.”
ABC News' Matt Jaffe contributed to this report