Congress averts shutdown, buys time for more COVID-19 talks

Congress gives itself one more week to figure out funding; Sen. Bernie Sanders urges more generous relief from the pandemic.

By

National News

December 11, 2020 - 3:38 PM

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill Friday, Dec. 4.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress shipped a temporary government-wide funding bill to President Donald Trump on Friday, averting a government shutdown at midnight and buying time for on-again, off-again talks on COVID-19 relief.

The bill, which sets a new shutdown deadline of midnight next Friday, passed the Senate by a unanimous voice vote that came without much drama and sent rank-and-file senators home for the weekend with no clear picture of what awaits next week. The House passed the bill on Wednesday, and Trump is expected to sign it before midnight.

COVID-19 relief talks remain stalled but there is universal agreement that Congress won’t adjourn for the year without passing a long-delayed round of pandemic relief. An emerging $900 billion aid package from a bipartisan group of lawmakers hit a rough patch after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell swung against the effort, but negotiations are ongoing and pressure remains intense.

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