The Senate followed the House in passing a 48-hour continuing resolution to fund federal agencies through at least the weekend while talks on a coronavirus relief package continue. Current government funding expires at midnight Friday.
The extra time gives lawmakers the chance to finalize a deal on Covid-19 relief and government funding through next September.
A dispute over an effort led by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey to codify the phase-out of Federal Reserve emergency lending facilities at year-end remains one of the key sticking points on the coronavirus deal. Democrats say Toomey’s provision would limit the Fed’s ability to respond to future crises and is the biggest obstacle to getting a deal on the relief package.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy have been speaking through the week to resolve these final issues.
The legislation now goes to President Donald Trump for signature before funding lapses at midnight Friday.
Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had threatened to hold up another such continuing resolution when the current one was cleared last Friday, said he wouldn’t block the bill.
Sanders said he withdrew his objection because of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s commitment not to adjourn the chamber until a COVID-19 relief package is passed. Sanders had been pressing for inclusion of $1,200 stimulus checks in that package.
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