House Republican leaders were finally set to release a copy of a 2015 spending bill Tuesday night, a bill they hope to pass before leaving town Thursday for the rest of the year.
Rumors have been circulating all week about the contents of the legislation, and whether Republicans and Democrats can support it. Some have also raise the question of whether the House would have to return next week in order to finish the spending bill.
However, one House aide told TheBlaze that the legislation would be filed by Tuesday night, and that the House would be able to leave Washington by Thursday.
But that schedule could jam the Senate, where it could take a longer time to consider and pass the $1 trillion spending bill. The Senate is also hoping to pass a defense authorization bill passed by the House last week — it could get to that on Wednesday.
But that could mean rare weekend duty for the Senate to deal with spending.
"Maybe we'll have to work the weekend, and maybe even work next week," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday. "I know that's tough duty for everybody, but we may have to do that."
House GOP leaders were hoping to put the spending bill out Monday night, but it was delayed as they continue to figure out exactly where support lies for the bill. For several weeks now, it's been clear that several Republicans would oppose the bill unless it includes language to defund President Barack Obama's executive amnesty on immigration.
Boehner has signaled that won't appear in the bill, which means he has to make sure enough Democrats support it. But that, in turn, means making sure the bill doesn't include various policy riders that turn off too many Democrats.
For example, some Republicans want to include language that blocks a District of Columbia law on growing and possessing marijuana, while others want to ease federal rules on school lunches.
But passing the bill in that form is likely to lead to more criticism from Republicans that Boehner has caved in and allowed funding for Obama's executive action. Some of that frustration could spill over to the Senate, where many Republicans have said Boehner needs to stand up to what they say is Obama's illegal action.
Boehner has said Republicans will be in a better position to fight Obama next year, when they run the Senate.
Press reports about the contents of the bill started surfacing Monday and Tuesday, but no text had been released as of late Tuesday afternoon.
The House may also have to pass a short-term spending bill, to make sure government funding doesn't run out at the end of the day Thursday. That would give the Senate more time to pass the bill, even though Republicans plan to be done with it by Thursday.