December 5, 2017 / 3:29 PM / 12 days ago

House Republicans mull length of spending bill as vote looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were in discussions on Tuesday about how long to fund the federal government in a short-term spending measure expected to come to a vote as early as Wednesday.

“I feel like we’re going to have a majority... for passing the CR (spending measure) we have this week,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters after a closed-door meeting with fellow House Republican members.

“We’re having a good conversation with our members about timing and date ... and all the rest,” he added.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has enough members to block legislation, has pressed Republican leaders to consider a spending measure that expires on Dec. 30, eight days later than the Dec. 22 deadline that House and Senate Republicans have been discussing up to now.

Ryan said the end date of the measure, known officially as a continuing resolution, or CR, would become known when it reaches the House floor.

But House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions told reporters his panel would consider a continuing resolution that expires on Dec. 22. The committee later rescheduled its hearing on the legislation for 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Wednesday.

Several other House Republicans, however, said members were still debating whether the funding would expire on Dec. 22 or on Dec. 30, after the Dec. 25 Christmas holiday.

“It’s still being negotiated,” said Representative Greg Walden.

A Senate Republican leadership aide sidestepped a question on what Senate leaders thought about the CR date. “If the House makes any changes to their bill, I‘m sure they will let everyone know,” the aide said.

Reporting by David Morgan and Susan Cornwell; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler

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