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Senate must pass stopgap funding bill Friday to avert shutdown at midnight – CNN

Senate must pass stopgap funding bill Friday to avert shutdown at midnight – CNN

The Senate must pass a short-term government funding bill sometime during the day Friday ahead of the funding expiration deadline to avert a shutdown, but lawmakers have been dealing with a series of holdups that have thrown a timeline for a vote into question.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune told reporters Thursday that lawmakers were facing multiple holdups in trying to wrap a vote on a short-term spending bill to avert a shutdown, known as a continuing resolution, and finish up the defense policy bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act.
The short-term spending bill would extend government funding by a week and is aimed at giving lawmakers more time to reach an agreement on Covid relief and broader funding legislation for a new fiscal year. It passed the House earlier this week.
One of the potential holdups is the fact that Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said Thursday that he is filibustering the NDAA, over an amendment from Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, that Paul says would limit the President’s ability to withdraw troops from a war zone like Afghanistan.
In addition to Paul’s filibuster, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is demanding a vote on a provision that would give individuals $1,200 stimulus checks and a group of conservative senators is insisting on a vote on legislation to prevent future government shutdowns.
For now, it’s unclear exactly how the standoff will play out. If a shutdown were to happen it would likely be brief and over the weekend when many government operations are not open.
The uncertainty over a potential shutdown comes as lawmakers are also continuing to struggle to reach agreement over a new round of Covid relief and a broader government funding package.
If the Senate passes the stopgap bill Friday, it will set up a new looming deadline — giving lawmakers just one additional week to work out thorny issues that are currently holding up those agreements, or potentially witness the collapse of the talks involved in both issues.

Published at Fri, 11 Dec 2020 11:03:00 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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Senate must pass stopgap funding bill Friday to avert shutdown at midnight – CNN