Updated Dec 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump signs two-day funding bill to avoid government shutdown

People in front of the Capitol Building on Dec. 16.

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump late Friday night signed the continuing resolution that will fund the federal government through Dec. 21 and temporarily avert a partial shutdown.

Why it matters: The 48-hour stopgap will also give lawmakers the weekend to resolve outstanding issues with a $900 billion coronavirus relief package and $1.4 trillion long-term spending deal.

Context: This is the second continuing resolution Congress has needed to pass this month because lawmakers could not compromise. The first was passed last week.

  • But congressional leaders set and blew past Friday's deadline to work out their differences, even though lawmakers have said for days they were closing in on a deal.

The big picture: Stimulus negotiations were hindered on Friday with debate over the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers.

  • Some Republicans, including Sen. Patrick Toomey (Pa.), want to reduce the Fed’s emergency lending programs as part of a stimulus deal, while Democrats fear the GOP is attempting to reduce the Fed’s authority before the Biden administration takes over.

Lawmakers also disagree on the proposed $600 direct payments to Americans as part of the stimulus bill.

What to watch: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the chamber would not hold votes on any legislation until Sunday afternoon.

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