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House leader: We'll get done next week

House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said Wednesday he expects Congress to adjourn for the year next Tuesday or Wednesday, but told reporters it would be "prudent" to "plan on being around Thursday."

Armey said Congress will approve another continuing resolution this week to fund the government through early next week.

He listed several bills that he hopes the House will approve this week, including a reauthorization of the Commodity Exchange Act; the Water Resources Development Act, which includes landmark Everglades legislation; and a Nevada lands bill. The House will approve the combined fiscal 2001 VA-HUD/Energy and Water appropriations package this week, as well.

House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said that it would be impossible for Congress to complete its work this week. Asked if Congress would be able to approve a final spending package next week, he said, "There is no final package."

DeLay said he hoped the House next week would consider--"separately"--the Labor-HHS appropriations conference report, a combined District of Columbia/Commerce- Justice-State appropriations package, a Foreign Operations spending bill, and a tax cut package.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., told reporters that he would no longer support continuing resolutions to keep the government running for a week, potentially forcing Congress to remain in session through this weekend. Daschle said he would only support two- to three-day CRs, saying it was necessary to "hold everyone's feet to the fire" and get Congress to complete its work.

"We will oppose, and [President Clinton] will veto if necessary, a CR that goes beyond a few days," he said.

Asked how Democrats would explain a budget confrontation between Democrats and Republicans, Daschle said, "The Republicans would rather campaign than run the country," and that "We ought to do our work. I have great confidence in the President's ability to articulate our message."

But DeLay, when asked about the length of the CR package that the House would take up, said, "You'll see it [Thursday] when we pass it."