Congress aims to prevent government shutdown as COVID relief negotiations continue

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The federal government is about to run out of money once again.

The government spending bill expires on Dec. 11, and lawmakers are now scrambling to prevent a government shutdown.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, said lawmakers have no intention of letting another government shutdown happen, especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The hold-up revolves around federal COVID-19 relief, which lawmakers hope to bundle together with their government spending bill.

“We’re working now on the details, but my best guess is we’re talking sometime next week that that will come to a conclusion,” Van Hollen said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said the House and Senate are working on a one-week, stop-gap funding bill as negotiations continue on COVID-19 relief.

“My view, and I think it’s a view shared by literally everybody on both sides of the aisle, is we can’t leave without doing a COVID bill,” he said.

Rep. Tom Reed, R-New York, said while it’s not an ideal situation, “whatever helps the American people and the businesses that are suffering … if it has to ride along with another bill, I’m open to it, but obviously, we want to keep it as separate as possible.”

The temporary spending bill should clear Congress before Friday’s deadline.

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