Congress will pass funding bill, avoid government shutdown: Rep. Luetkemeyer

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are in negotiations on a funding bill that would avert a government shutdown before a deadline next Friday.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) on Friday said that passing a funding bill should not be too difficult to achieve and believes it will get done by the end of the year.

“It’s not that difficult to get done. There are a group of folks that are going to have to be persuaded, that’s better than extending it to next January. There will not be a shutdown; we are going to make sure that the government does not go home for Christmas with everything shutdown, that’s not going to happen,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling higher than its current benchmark of $19.8 trillion and must get the bill onto President Trump’s desk by December 8 to avert the shutdown. But some lawmakers have discussed extending the deadline to mid-January.

Luetkemeyer said Republican leadership would like to extend the deadline by two weeks in order to further debate a bill.

“The leadership would like to move it just a short term CR for two weeks. We believe that we can knock out the differences with ourselves and the Senate to get this done. Leadership would like to have this all wrapped up before the end of the year. We believe that it’s probably going to happen that way,” he said.

Luetkemeyer explained the different reasons why Congress has had a hard time agreeing on a set budget.

“We’ve had a lot of things on our plate, we have had tax reform, we’ve had healthcare reform all through the summer and this fall we had flood insurance reform, ship extension. There is general agreement on where we need to go with the budget, it’s been held up basically because of the Democrats about a DACA fix in the bill,” he said.

According to a report by the Washington Post, President Trump told confidents that a government shutdown could help him politically. However, Luetkemeyer believes that a government shutdown would not only hurt the president, but the U.S. economy as well.