It looks like Congress may be buying itself more time to reach a deal after the House today passed a bill that would provide one more week of funding to the government. While the Senate still has to pass the bill, this would prevent a government shutdown, which would otherwise occur on Saturday if no bill is passed.
Congress is currently looking at several measures that have pulled Democrats and Republicans at odds with one another. These include broad spending packages and coronavirus relief packages, both of which have been on the table and under debate for several months now.
In fact, there’s no telling just how things are going to go or when the new bill to fully fund the government might be passed. Still, Congress is overall hopeful that something will be passed and that it will be around $1.4 trillion, the amount that has been agreed to.
There’s no telling what’s going to happen to the money that’s been set, however, as that’s the part that Democrats and Republicans will have to work across the aisle to decide on. Both Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi have stated that they would like the pandemic aid measures to be added into their normal spending bill. It’s looking like there could be some concessions finally on the horizon.
McConnell is calling for an end to a long held Republican point of liability protections while also asking Democrats to drop long held points of state and local government aid. While some discussions have been taking place, it’s uncertain whether a bipartisan bill will actually be able to pass through Congress by the end of the year.
Tying the bill into the spending bill for the year seems like one way to give a better chance, however, as a spending bill will need to be passed, and soon. Extensions will only allow us to get so far and Congress will eventually need to come together to create an overall spending plan for the year. Once they do, perhaps a few changes will be possible for the rest of us.
We’ll have to wait and see if measures are passed before the extension is up on December 18th and just what might be included in the new bill. It’s possible that individual stimulus checks will be issued, though the previous bipartisan bill that was presented did not call for these checks to be issued.