House Republicans have scheduled a vote next week on a bill to keep the government open past Sept. 30, but are still weighing whether to include instructions to defund President Obama’s signature health initiative.
Other details of the legislation have largely been decided, senior GOP aides said Friday. The measure will probably fund the government through Dec. 15 at current levels, meaning sharp automatic cuts known as the sequester would remain in place.
Under the proposal, about $20 billion in additional sequester cuts set to hit in fiscal 2014, which begins Oct. 1, would not take effect immediately. But those cuts, which primarily target the Pentagon, could still be implemented in January if Congress fails to reach a broader budget agreement.
Democrats will probably sign off on the legislation if it does not include a rider to defund the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, Democratic aides said. That would defuse the threat of a government shutdown at the end of this month and clear a path for a broader budget debate focused on raising the federal debt limit by the end of October.