Prospects for Friday’s shutdown deadline for Capitol Hill approval blur as leaders continue to negotiate aid treaty


With less than two days to go, lawmakers are now re-discussing the possibility of extending the shutdown deadline to allow more time to negotiate a convention and transfer it to the House and Senate. The two issues are linked as leaders want to tie the aid deal to a $ 1.4 trillion funding bill to keep the government open until next September.

So, if things don’t change quickly, the final consideration of the huge measure could slip into the weekend or early next week.

Steny Hoyer, the head of the majority of the house, said on Wednesday he believes the purchase of the time needed to finalize the deal may require a funding account to prevent a downtime called a resolution or CR.

“The answer to that is clearly yes … I don’t want to close the government,” he said. “If someone asked me to support a CR, well, what I’m not going to support is shutting down the government.”

At Capitol Hill, there is a consensus that after months of quarreling and stalemate, a relief agreement will be reached. But Congress is now embroiled in a pending game when four Congress leaders and the White House try to iron out the fine print and go through the final details.

The details likely in the plan began to come to light on Wednesday, although nothing is final until the text of the legislation is published.

The price tag could approach $ 900 billion and is expected to include money to distribute vaccines and schools, $ 300 a week in unemployment benefits, roughly $ 330 billion for small business loans, and a new incentive check round of about $ 600 per person for a certain income. below the threshold.
Although the proposal is expected to include a $ 90 billion fund managed by FEMA to be provided to states and cities, it does not include the large sums of money for state and local governments demanded by Democrats. It also does not include protection against litigation opened by businesses and others in a pandemic, which is one of the top priorities of the GOP.

Once the convention is made public, congressional leaders need to carralize the rankings and move as quickly as possible to get the legislation on the floor of both chambers.

Which in part urges urgency: The January running races of the Georgian Senate will determine the next majority. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly remarked at a conference call at Wednesday’s conference how the issue of direct payments has become a major issue in competitions.

“Kelly and David are getting hammered,” McConnell said of his GOP colleagues, Sens. About Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

Opposition on both sides

If both parties recognize that something needs to go through, they will almost certainly get the votes they need for approval. But they get repression on both sides, and criticism has already begun to flow.

Progressive lawmakers have expressed concern that the size of incentive checks will not be large enough.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent spokesman for Vermont on Wednesday, warned that the resulting agreement would not be adequate to deal with the devastating falls caused by the pandemic.

“There’s a lot in this bill, which is good, but given the enormous nature of the crises we’re facing, it just doesn’t go far enough,” Sanders said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sanders, who demanded a $ 1,200 check, praised the emerging proposal to introduce stimulus controls, though expected to be lower than he urged, but said he would continue to demand more.

There are also likely to be GOP concerns about the price tag.

Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said “probably” when asked if it was too much money.

“I’m probably against it,” GOP spokesman Jim Jordan of Ohio said.

If lawmakers pass a stop-gap bill to prevent the government from shutting down, they will do so a second time soon.

Just last week, the House and Senate passed a short-term funding bill to extend the December 11 shutdown deadline by one week to Friday, December 18, until midnight.