Congress is putting the pieces in place to avoid a shutdown by midnight on Friday, temporarily easing the pressure but could find itself in the same crisis a week from now as lawmakers still remain apart on a longer six month budget extension.
Lawmakers appeared to be backing off reaching a six-month budget agreement and pointed to competing one-week proposals on Friday to prevent a government shutdown. No votes have been scheduled yet on any legislation related to the budget and policy standoff.
Congress has been operating on weeklong and months-long extensions over the past year as Congress has been unable to agree on a long term deal.
At a press conference early Friday afternoon Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that the Senate was working on crafting a one-week extension and reiterated objections to the cutting of funding for women's health which Republicans are seeking.
Reid also said Republicans on Friday morning backed off an agreement last night to cut $38 billion from the federal budget for the next six months. House Speaker John Boehner has publicly said over the past week there has not been a deal in place on a specific number or policy measures.
Planned Parenthood provides preventive health care services for women and is also the nation's largest provider of abortions. However the organization does not use federal funds for providing abortions, which is prohibited by federal law.
Nevertheless, Republicans are seeking a provision in both the long-term deal and a one week extension that would cut off about $300 million in annual funds to Planned Parenthood. The House passed a one week spending measure Thursday that would cut $12 billion from the budget during that time and fund the military for the next six months. Early today, the Senate moved that measure in place for a possible vote.
President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the Republicans' short term measure.
The Senate's one-week extension would be a clean measure, known as a continuing resolution, that would not contain the women's health provision.