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Vice President Pence told CNBC on Friday that the Trump administration and Congress have reached a deal to avert a government shutdown without linking it to new coronavirus relief measures.

Why it matters: The federal government is headed towards a shutdown if Congress does not pass legislation, like a continuing resolution, before the end of the month.

  • The deal comes as lawmakers prepare to return to Washington for what is expected to be another heated battle over the next coronavirus stimulus.
  • Many speculated that another round of pandemic relief would be combined with a funding resolution, but Pence's comments suggest the two issues would be addressed separately.

What he's saying: "The agreement reached this week by the Treasury secretary and our negotiation team to have a continuing resolution to continue to fund the government when the fiscal year runs out at the end of this month means that now we can focus just on another relief bill," Pence said.

  • "We’re not going to allow Democrats in Congress to use a coronavirus relief bill to bail out poorly run Democratic states." 

The big picture: Pence's remarks came a day after the AP and other news outlets reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reached a tentative agreement on a "clean" stopgap bill.

  • "House Democrats support a clean continuing resolution,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told the AP.

The bottom line: The duration of the continuing resolution is unclear, but the AP reported that funding is likely to last until December.

Go deeper

Pelosi defends Swalwell, says Congress should fight "undue Chinese influence"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday she doesn't have "any concern" about Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), after an Axios investigation revealed the congressman was targeted by a suspected Chinese spy seeking to gain access to U.S. political circles up until 2015.

Driving the news: Pelosi called for closer examination of Chinese activities "in terms of their undue influence at universities in our country and the overtures they've tried to make to members of Congress," but stopped short of saying that lawmakers should run background checks on everyone they work with.

35 mins ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  2. Politics: Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  3. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses.
  4. Business: Firms develop new ways to inoculate the public.
  5. Local: Ultra-rich Florida community got vaccinations in January.

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