House speaker: May need a temporary bill to fund government past Dec. 8

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers may have to pass another stop-gap spending bill in order to keep the federal government operating Dec. 8 when existing money runs out, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters on Tuesday.

Asked about the timing of the budget process and the measure now in place to fund government operations through early December at last year’s levels, Ryan told a news conference, “We might need a little bit more time to give the appropriators time to write their bill” for fiscal 2018 spending that would extend through next Sept. 30.

Ryan said a temporary spending bill, if needed while the longer-term one is being negotiated, would extend for a short time. “We are not talking about going into next year,” he said.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Writing by Susan Heavey)