Faced with the House stalemate over a government stopgap funding bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday set up a path for the Senate to move first on a bill to fund the government beyond Sept. 30.
Schumer filed cloture on a motion to proceed to H.R. 3935, the House-passed bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which could serve as a legislative vehicle to pass a continuing resolution to fund government through the Senate.
“I have just filed cloture to move forward on FAA. As I have said for months, we must work in a bipartisan fashion to keep our government open, avoid a shutdown, and avoid inflicting unnecessary pain on the American people. This action will give the Senate the option to do just that,” Schumer announced on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon.
Traditionally, the House moves first on spending and revenue bills but senators feel they must make the first move to keep the government funded because Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has not been able to round up 218 Republican votes in the House to move a stopgap funding measure.
Senate aides say the FAA authorization bill will likely be used as a vehicle to move a clean continuing resolution that would fund the federal government for a few weeks but likely not include money for the war in Ukraine or disaster relief.
Senators will spend next week debating and voting on the legislation in hopes of sending it to the House by Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
House lawmakers left Washington Thursday after GOP leaders canceled weekend votes but advised their colleagues to be on call to return to the Capitol quickly.
The Senate will hold a pro-forma session Friday and not reconvene until 3 pm on Tuesday in observance of Yom Kippur, which ends at sundown Monday.
At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday the Senate will vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the CR vehicle.