Senate Leaders Agree on Spending Bill Through March, McConnell Says

Posted December 19, 2010 at 9:04am

Updated: 12:24 p.m.

The Senate GOP and Democratic leaders have brokered an agreement on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded into March, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday.

The Kentucky Republican and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agreed on the short-term CR instead of an omnibus spending bill exceeding $1 trillion that Reid supported and Republicans opposed, McConnell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Reid said on the Senate floor Sunday afternoon that he is trying to come to an agreement with McConnell on the CR. There are “a few issues, but nothing we shouldn’t be able to work through,” he said.

Reid pulled the omnibus legislation last week after Republicans moved to block it. McConnell said that although the parties had agreed on the total amount being spent, Republicans moved against it because Democrats had sought to fund the government in one big piece of legislation rather than separate appropriations bills that could be amended.

“What we did not agree to is not taking a single bill across the Senate floor,” McConnell said. “What we did not agree to is adding up a 2,000-page bill, putting in there funding of the health care provisions that were passed last year, which we overwhelmingly opposed, and passing it right before Christmas.”

The government is running on a continuing resolution that the Senate cleared Friday night to avoid a government shutdown. It lasts through Tuesday.