Politics Congress eyes 1-week stopgap bill to avoid shutdown

16:50  05 december  2020
16:50  05 december  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Congress returns with virus aid, federal funding unresolved

  Congress returns with virus aid, federal funding unresolved WASHINGTON (AP) - After months of shadowboxing amid a tense and toxic campaign, Capitol Hill's main players are returning for one final, perhaps futile, attempt at deal-making on a challenging menu of year-end business.COVID-19 relief, a $1.4 trillion catchall spending package, and defense policy dominate a truncated two- or three-week session occurring as the coronavirus pandemic rockets out of control in President Donald Trump's final weeks in office.There is also a final burst of judicial nominees to deal with.

The bill would keep the government open through Dec. 18 as lawmakers continue work on a giant $ 1 .4 trillion full-year spending bill to complete appropriations for the fiscal year that began Oct. A stopgap would especially disappoint House leaders, who said they have been pushing to wrap up work by Dec.

The stopgap spending bill extends government funding until Jan. After the House and Senate succeeded in passing a $ 1 .5 trillion tax overhaul this week , the stopgap bill includes language to prevent automatic spending cuts that would be required to offset the tax bill ’s effect on the deficit.

Congress is weighing a week-long stopgap measure to avoid a government shutdown after current funding runs out next Friday.

a person wearing a costume: Congress eyes 1-week stopgap bill to avoid shutdown © Greg Nash Congress eyes 1-week stopgap bill to avoid shutdown

A House Democratic leadership aide said that a one-week stopgap measure is likely as negotiators continue ironing out a full-year spending bill in which long-stalled coronavirus economic relief would be attached.

Another Democratic aide cautioned that a stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), is possible but not set in stone yet.

The acknowledgement that lawmakers may need to turn to a short-term funding patch comes despite House Democrats originally aiming to wrap up their 2020 work by the end of next week.

Details of $908 Billion U.S. Pandemic Relief Plan Set for Release

  Details of $908 Billion U.S. Pandemic Relief Plan Set for Release Bipartisan negotiators on a $908 billion pandemic relief package are planning to unveil more details of their proposal on Monday, aiming to settle on language that can satisfy enough Republicans and Democrats to secure passage of one final tranche of Covid-19 aid before Congress breaks for the year. The outline of the plan spurred a flurry of optimism last week when it won the endorsement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and a number of Republican senators as a basis for fresh talks after a half-year of stalemate.

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump signed a stopgap funding bill on Thursday that would keep the federal government open through The law would maintain current funding levels for most programs, avoiding a government shutdown in the middle of a pandemic just weeks ahead of the Nov.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a stopgap spending bill in order to avert a government shutdown just hours before a midnight deadline when funding is set to expire.

Video: U.S. Congress defense bill defies Trump's wishes (Reuters - US Video Online)

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) predicted earlier this week that Congress would need a short-term funding bill to give the negotiators more time to complete a mammoth spending package.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that he had hoped to let members go home by the end of next week to give them enough time to quarantine if necessary before spending Christmas with their families. But a stopgap funding bill lasting through Dec. 18 would delay that timeline.

Three House members - Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) - all announced this week that they tested positive for COVID-19, amid a spike in cases nationally and among members of Congress.

Lawmakers are eager to wrap up their work to limit the possibility of the virus spreading in the Capitol as they travel from all over the country and congregate on the House and Senate floors.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke Thursday on a strategy for passing legislation in the coming days to both fund the government and provide COVID-19 economic relief.

"We'll take the time we need and we must get it done," Pelosi told reporters on Friday. "We cannot leave without it."

OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden taps ex-Obama chief for VA | Shutdown looms amid standoff | SCOTUS rules on rape cases in military .
Happy Thursday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Ellen Mitchell, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter. THE TOPLINE: President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Denis McDonough, who served as former President Obama's White House chief of staff, as his pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).The Biden transition team announced the pick on Thursday, along with a slew of other official nominations, including Susan Rice for director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Tom Vilsack for Agriculture secretary, Rep.

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