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Congress To Extend Appropriations Deadline

Kealey Bultena
US Senator Mike Rounds speaks in Sioux Falls in August during a United States Senate break.

A Friday deadline for a federal funding bill is likely moving to next week. Members of the US Senate approved a late-night Wednesday deadline to give negotiators extra time. House lawmakers will likely vote on the extension Friday.

One South Dakota lawmaker says the quick extension makes sense. United States Senator Mike Rounds says he supports the move to give leaders a few extra days to decide what an appropriations measure includes. He says negotiators are making progress but are not sharing information.

“We don’t know all what’s in this. We know a lot of the items that have been discussed. We know as Republicans what we think we want in it. We know know basically some of the things the Democrats may very well want in it,” Rounds says. “It’s a combination – since we’ve already agreed on what the total spending amount is, that has not really become the issue. It’s been a matter of what policy issues we include and what we do with regard the tax credit extenders."

Rounds says both Democrats and Republicans have preferences on what should survive the negotiations process.

The Senator says the US House of Representatives could begin reviewing the bill right away next week.

“They’ll look at it Monday-Tuesday, pass it on Wednesday, we believe, as either one bill or two bills, and it will immediately come to Senate,” Rounds says. “The Senate on Wednesday evening hopefully will have had two days then to review, to look at it, and to either agree or disagree with it.”

Rounds says Senators plan to vote on the measure that evening. The short-term extension pushes the deadline for a final bill to the end of Wednesday.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).