Updated Dec 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump signs one-week funding bill to stave off government shutdown

Trump speaking in the White House on Dec. 7.
Trump speaking in the White House on Dec. 7. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Friday signed a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 18, temporarily averting a shutdown after the Senate passed the bill earlier the same day.

Why it matters: The short-term resolution is simply a time-saver, buying Congress an extra week to work out their differences over a longer-term funding deal and a coronavirus stimulus package — something they’ve tried, and failed, to pass for months.

Yes, but: There’s no motivator like the holidays to kick members into gear, and lawmakers are more hopeful than they’ve been in months about reaching any sort of compromise.

What they're saying: Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) objected to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's initial attempt to pass the the resolution via unanimous consent, demanding that Congress pass a relief deal with direct payments to Americans.

  • Sanders said he would withdraw his objection this week, but would not do so when funding expires before Christmas.
  • Hawley did the same, pleading: "If the Senate of the United States can find hundreds of billions of dollars to give to big government and big business, surely it can find some relief for working families and working individuals."

The big picture: Despite the momentum in stimulus talks, McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to budge on his red line of including liability protections for businesses in the next relief bill.

  • Senate Republicans are also unlikely to back aid for state and local governments, a key Democratic demand.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said lawmakers "cannot go home" until a deal is reached, suggesting that Congress could stay in session until Dec. 26, when a slate of emergency aid programs are set to expire.
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