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Congress passes interim bill a day before shutdown deadline

The Senate passed a one-day interim bill on Sunday evening, hours after congressional leaders announced they had reached agreement on a comprehensive deal to fund the government and provide coronavirus relief that has since been stalled. long time.

The one-day bill passed the House earlier in the evening. The White House announced just before the midnight deadline that President Trump had signed the stopgap measure, funding the government for the next 24 hours.

It is the fourth continuing resolution (CR) Congress has needed this year after initially using a stopgap to fund the government from Oct. 1 to Dec. 11. They then used a second CR to extend it to December 18 and a third to extend it. again until the end of Sunday.

The need for a one-day CR comes as the House is set to vote Monday on the roughly $2.3 trillion deal, which includes $900 billion for coronavirus relief and $1.4 trillion to finance the government.

A notice from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) had originally primed the deal for a vote potentially late Sunday evening, but just before 6 p.m., House Democrats announced that the A day’s CR would be the only vote of the day. .

“I am delighted that we have reached an agreement on COVID-19 relief and an omnibus, which I think we will adopt tomorrow and send to the Senate. In order to allow time to prepare the bill for consideration , the House will meet at 6:30 p.m. to consider a one-day rolling resolution,” Hoyer said in a tweet.

The deal includes $284 billion for another round of small business relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), unemployment benefit of $300 a week for 11 weeks, a second round of reduced stimulus checks of $600 and more money for things like schools, coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution.

Once the deal passes the House on Monday, it will then go to the Senate where leaders have signaled they are eager to push it through quickly.

But under Senate rules, any lawmaker could slow Senate passage, including dragging it out for days. No senator said he would, as members are eager to leave town a few days before the Christmas break.

Congress could also pass a second, longer, seven-day CR to give leaders time to get the mammoth COVID-related spending bill to Trump’s office and give him time to sign it during the week. vacation.

The House should insert the longer CR into its package that governs the debate on the omnibus-coronavirus package. Once the House adopts the rules for its debate, the longer, multi-day CR will automatically go to the Senate for adoption.

Sen. John Thune (RS.D.) earlier indicated that the Senate would pass the second, likely seven-day RC to give the deal time to be signed into law.

“Well, whatever they send, I guess we’ll pick it up and process it,” Thune said of the house plan. “I guess by the time…we get everything processed and the paperwork and signed up and all the way to the White House, maybe that’s what it takes.”

— Updated at 11:55 p.m.

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