Congress dangers closing the federal government as senators threaten to carry up the funding invoice
Update: The Senate passed the government's one-week funding law on Friday afternoon. An earlier version of this story is below.
The Senate had only hours to prevent the government from closing on Friday as lawmakers threatened to halt the swift passage of a spending bill.
Funding goes out if the Chamber does not approve a mediocre measure and President Donald Trump does not sign it before midnight. The House has already approved a week-long extension of government spending until December 18.
Legislators hope the bill will give them more time to finalize elusive funding and coronavirus relief deals for the year. However, it got more complicated to turn the lights on for another week on Friday.
In order to survive the shutdown, the measure requires unanimous approval. This means any senator can delay their approval, and several lawmakers have suggested doing so.
Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., And Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Urged a vote on a proposal to send direct payments of up to $ 1,200 per person and $ 500 per child. They criticized the failure of Congress to put more money in Americans' pockets for months during health and economic crises.
"In the midst of such great economic desperation, Congress cannot pause without providing this $ 1,200 emergency aid to the American people in their distress," Sanders said in a statement Thursday evening as he introduced the amendment he and Hawley proposed to the Senate hope is attached to the financing measure.
Meanwhile, NBC News reported that Florida Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Indiana Mike Braun are planning to tie a bill to end the government shutdown to the week-long funding.
It is now unclear whether any of the lawmakers will actually delay the passage of the spending bill and let the funding forfeit.
The Senate cleared a potential hurdle when Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., Told reporters he wasn't going to hold up the household bill. He delayed the passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act for a day amid concerns about the $ 740 billion cost and a provision that would limit the president's authority to withdraw troops from overseas.
A previous protest from Paul resulted in a brief shutdown in 2018.
The passage of the spending measure would keep the government going for just a week. The appropriators haven't managed to reach a final agreement on a plan to fund the government by September 30, 2021, but leaders of Congress said they hope they can do so before next week.
Previously, Republicans and Democrats had agreed on a total of $ 1.4 trillion for a year-round spending package.
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