A cordoned off area outside the US Capitol in Washington.
Yegor Aleyev | TASS | Getty Images
The House passed a week-long extension of state funding on Wednesday as Congress tries to buy time to finalize extensive coronavirus spending and relief efforts.
The measure, which was passed by 343-67 votes, would keep the federal government going through December 18. Many operations will be halted amid the raging pandemic if lawmakers don’t approve a funding bill before Saturday.
The legislation goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Has indicated that he intends to pass it before the deadline. The Senate could try to approve it as early as Thursday.
Congress leaders hope to reach an agreement by September 30th on a bulk spending package to fund the government. The appropriators have agreed on a total price of 1.4 trillion US dollars, but have not yet agreed exactly where the money will go.
McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Have stated that they intend to add pandemic relief measures to the spending bill for the full year.
Democratic leaders hope bipartisan talks between ordinary lawmakers over a $ 908 billion coronavirus bailout will result in laws that can pass either house of Congress. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent Pelosi a $ 916 billion offer Tuesday, but she and Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Declined because it did not include additional federal unemployment benefits.
McConnell on Tuesday also called on lawmakers to drop demands for liability protection and state and local aid under a year-end law. Democrats have spoken out against the Republican leader’s urge to give companies immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits, saying it would harm employees who work for unnecessarily reckless companies.
While Democrats and many Republicans are backing new state and local support to avoid layoffs among first responders and teachers, McConnell and the White House have argued that the money will go to governments that have not managed their finances wisely.