As another shutdown looms, North Dakota bill not a high priority, House Republican leader says

North Dakota House Majority Leader Rep. Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) announces that 435 bills and 12 resolutions had been filed by members of the House before the body recessed on Monday, Jan. 14.  In back, from left, are Rep. Dennis Johnson (R-Devils Lake), Rep. Mark Owens (R-Grand Forks) and Rep. Jeffrey Magrum (R-Hazelton). Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota House Majority Leader Rep. Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) announces that 435 bills and 12 resolutions had been filed by members of the House before the body recessed on Monday, Jan. 14. In back, from left, are Rep. Dennis Johnson (R-Devils Lake), Rep. Mark Owens (R-Grand Forks) and Rep. Jeffrey Magrum (R-Hazelton). Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK — North Dakota’s top House Republican said Monday, Feb. 11, said Senate-approved bill meant to address the effects of a federal government shutdown isn’t a high priority as another funding lapse looms.

House Majority Leader Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, cited the heavy workload facing state lawmakers as they rush toward a mid-session break. Each legislative chamber generally must send bills across the hall for consideration by Feb. 22.

The House was scheduled to meet on the floor for an extended three-hour session Monday afternoon.

Late last month, the Senate passed emergency legislation requiring the state-owned Bank of North Dakota to guarantee loans made by financial institutions to federal workers in the state who are affected by a government shutdown.

The bill, sponsored by leaders of both political parties, including Pollert, hasn’t been scheduled for a hearing in the House. It was prompted by the longest shutdown in U.S. history that ended in January with the passage of a short-term spending measure.

The Washington Post reported Monday that negotiations in the nation’s capital had broken down during the weekend over disputes on immigration enforcement. About a quarter of the federal government is scheduled to run out of funding at the end of the week, the Post reported.

Roughly 800,000 federal employees across the country were on unpaid leave or working without pay during last month’s partial government shutdown. About 300 of the nearly 2,000 federal workers in North Dakota affected by shutdown filed unemployment insurance claims, Job Service North Dakota said.