WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- As a Friday deadline looms for Congress to get a new spending bill passed, and avert a government shutdown, lawmakers are trying to push that cutoff to the middle of next week.
The House and Senate continue to work toward a new omnibus spending bill to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Tuesday, House speaker Paul Ryan indicated that lawmakers may not be able to get it done by Friday, when funding expires.
President Barack Obama said through a White House spokesman that he is open to extending that deadline for a few days to allow lawmakers to finalize a deal, but nothing beyond that.
Part of the delay in getting a new spending bill passed is due to "riders" tacked onto the $1.1 trillion bill.
"The president is not going to sign a piece of legislation to give them more time to negotiate on a set of ideological riders," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. "Those riders should not be part of the process."
Lawmakers are expected to vote on the stopgap measure Friday, just hours before the midnight deadline.
"We have got a lot of items to discuss and resolve. Dozens, in fact," Rogers told reporters Wednesday. "We are making some progress but it's been slow."
Congress was supposed to depart on the annual holiday break Friday, but passage of the spending bill might require lawmakers to delay their travel plans by a few days.