WASHINGTON — The US Senate passed a measure Thursday to extend funding for the federal government into next week to avoid a shutdown on Friday and buy more time for budget negotiations.

The House is expected to take up the measure Friday.

House and Senate leaders are continuing to negotiate a deal on $1.1 trillion omnibus funding legislation, and on Wednesday Republicans cited "progress" as they introduced a stopgap measure meant to fund the government until next Wednesday, Dec. 16.

"While progress is being made on negotiations for a full-year omnibus appropriations bill, it is clear that more time is needed to complete the package," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said in a statement.

With the clock ticking, US defense contractors and government workers in particular are watching the process. Rep. Don Beyer, whose suburban Virginia district includes many such workers and businesses, expressed optimism Thursday that a deal would be reached soon.

"A shutdown would be terrible for our constituents, both the government contractors and the federal employees, and all the businesses; we just saw September was a pretty weak month in Northern Virginia just for fear of the shutdown," said Beyer, D-Va. "If I look at it from a General Dynamics, Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, BAE perspective, it's really important that we get a budget now."

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said the public will have three days to read the legislation, and the omnibus would have to be introduced on Monday to meet the pledge. Yet Ryan, at a news conference Thursday (Dec. 10), could not guarantee a deal would be complete by Wednesday.

Ryan, at a news conference Thursday (Dec. 10), Ryan acknowledged that the introduction of the omnibus has faced several delays over the last week, and rejected the idea that the missed Dec. 11 deadline is being met by nonchalance on the Hill.

"It's not nonchalance, it's getting it right." said Ryan, R-Wis. "This is a trillion dollars we're dealing with. Hardworking taxpayers work hard to send us our tax dollars. We have to respect that."

But nNegotiators are locked in tough talks negotiations over politically charged policy riders opposed by congressional Democrats and the White House. These issues are said to range from Syrian and Iraqi refugee restrictions, abortion, campaign finance, Obama administration environmental rules and the ability of employees to unionize.

Last Wednesday, House Democratic leaders rejected a Republican-crafted spending bill over its inclusion of more than 30 policy riders. Any legislation needs a substantial number of Democrats to pass in the House because — despite Republican majorities in both houses — Speaker Ryan, like his predecessor John Boehner, can deliver a small portion of his unruly caucus.

"I don't want to comment on negotiating strategies or what it we're doing or how our votes are going," Ryan said when asked to explain his negotiating position. "I think our members understand the situation quite well. Look, we're not going to get everything we want in negotiations, the Democrats aren't going to get everything they want in negotiations, but I think that we will successfully complete these negotiations."

Both sides have accused the other of being unreasonable and blocking a deal.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said it is "perfectly reasonable that Republicans in this majority" would want to pursue a policy agenda separate from the Democrats.

"There are genuine differences in policy, and there is a substantial difference in a Congress that the Republicans control both the House and Senate than a Congress when in the rest of the president's term was controlled at totally or partially by Democrats," Blunt said.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, on Wednesday, blasted congressional Republicans as using the budgetary process to "advance their ideological agenda,." and said the president wants to get a deal finished soon.

"The pPresident is not going to sign a continuing resolution that gives them additional weeks or months to negotiate an agreement," he said.

Earnest said Republicans are "on the verge of shutting down the government, which would also risk funding for national security and homeland security."

The powerful Senate Appropriations Committee's ranking member, Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said negotiators have made progress on the spending issues and struggled through 40 or 42 "poison pill riders,." Negotiations, mainly between congressional leaders and the White House, were in a "frozen state," she told reporters Tuesday.

On Thursday (Dec. 10), Mikulski was no less pessimistic.

"It's in their court, if they accept our offer, we can do it this afternoon," she said.

"I'm disappointed because when we left here on Thursday [Dec. 3], I thought we had momentum," Mikulski said.

Although Republicans have majorities in both houses, Speaker Ryan, R-Wis., like his predecessor John Boehner, can deliver a small portion of his unruly caucus. Therefore, any legislation needs a substantial number of Democrats to pass in the House.

Last Wednesday, House Democratic leaders rejected a Republican-crafted spending bill over its inclusion of more than 30 policy riders.

Email: jgould@defensenews.com

Twitter: @reporterjoe

Joe Gould is senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry.

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