President Donald Trump signed a week-long government funding extension on Friday as Congress rushed to secure spending and coronavirus relief deals.
The Senate passed the measure in a vote earlier in the day, and the House approved it this week. Funding would have expired on Saturday if Washington hadn't passed a spending plan.
The law will fund the government until December 18th. Congressional leaders hope to have both a year-round funding package and pandemic aid approved by then. You have tried to reach an agreement on both fronts.
The appropriators have agreed on a $ 1.4 trillion price for the legislation to keep the government running through September 30, 2021. However, they have not agreed on exactly where the money should go.
Despite the most hectic effort in months to develop a coronavirus bailout, Congress must resolve several major disputes to reach an agreement. Millions of Americans await help as an uncontrolled outbreak ravages communities across the country, creating hunger that has not been seen for years.
If the legislature cannot pass relief laws in the coming days, around 12 million people will lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. An eviction moratorium and provisions for family leave introduced earlier this year will also expire at the end of December.
Two senators, the independent Vermont-based Bernie Sanders and the Missouri Republican Josh Hawley, threatened to block the spending measure when they urged Congress to send more aid to Americans. Legislators wanted to vote on a proposal to send another direct payment of up to $ 1,200 for individuals and $ 500 per child.
Sanders said he decided not to object to government funding on Friday but would do so next week if Congress hadn't moved to provide more relief.
"We are more hungry in America today than ever before in the modern history of this country," said the senator as he pushed for direct payments.
For months, Congress failed to provide more aid to Americans, despite ongoing health and economic crises. A GOP-backed proposal to give businesses immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits and a plan to send more aid to state and local governments backed by Democrats and many Republicans remain the biggest sticking points in reaching a settlement .
Democrats have also criticized the fact that the White House's recent $ 916 billion aid offer, blessed by the leaders of GOP Congress, does not include additional money for federal unemployment insurance. It has a direct payment of $ 600, half the total of the March stimulus checks approved by Congress.
Democrats have put their weight behind a $ 908 billion package that a non-partisan group is working on. The measure would include unemployment benefit of $ 300 per week but no direct payments.
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