WASHINGTON -- With the agenda for a postelection lame duck session of Congress already stacked high, congressional leaders are considering lightening the load by punting much of the remaining budget work of Congress to next year.

At issue are the annual spending bills funding the day-to-day operations of government. The Sept. 30 end of the budget year is rapidly approaching but the appropriations bills are far behind schedule.

GOP aides say House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio supports the idea of a six-month stopgap spending bill that would pile the stack of unfinished business into the lap of the next Congress and whoever wins the White House in November.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the top Democrat in Congress, said he supports an approach that would keep the government running into next year.

"It would be my preference that we do something that would alleviate this being an issue that we have during the lame duck" session of Congress after the elections, or during the weeks before the elections, Reid said. He added that he's had "very productive" talks about the issue with Republicans.

The other option would be to pass a shorter-term measure and revisit the debate in a lame duck session. That would require assembling a foot-tall omnibus measure in December sure to be unpopular with tea party Republicans.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the speaker has yet to decide a course of action and declined to confirm his preference for a longer-term stopgap measure. Members of the Appropriations Committee are generally against the idea after putting in long hours drafting and debating the 12 annual spending bills.

The agenda for the lame duck session is already piling high. It includes dealing with expiring tax cuts and looming across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon and a variety of domestic programs.

"Why add to the pileup in the lame duck?" said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). "That makes no sense to me."

Suffolk fentanyl summit … REDC less money this year … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

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Suffolk fentanyl summit … REDC less money this year … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Trump trial deliberations ... Rangers Game 5 tonight ... Firework tossed into Elmont 7-Eleven ... Family loves cricket

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