Washington, Dec 12 : The US Senate has passed a one-week stopgap funding bill to keep the federal government open through December 18, providing more time for lawmakers to negotiate a much-awaited coronavirus relief package.
The Republican-majority upper chamber on Friday approved the bill, known as a continuing resolution, a few hours before the government funding was set to expires, sending it to President Donald Trump’s desk, reports Xinhua news agency.
On Wednesday, the Democrat-led House of Representatives passed the bill with a vote of 343-67.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said that they want to attach a long-awaited Covid-19 relief legislation to an omnibus funding bill, which will keep the government open while providing targeted relief to households and businesses.
Despite the unabated resurgence of fresh coronavirus cases across the country, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been deadlocked for months over the size and scope of the next relief package.
The White House on Tuesday proposed a new $916 billion Covid-19 relief package to the Democrats.
But Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it didn’t provide enough funding for unemployment insurance.
Without a new relief package, many Americans will soon lose their unemployment benefits and begin to face hardships like eviction and foreclosure by the end of the year.
Earlier this week, the Chamber of Commerce had warned that failure to enact a meaningful pandemic package “risks a double-dip recession that will permanently shutter small businesses across the nation and leave millions of Americans with no means to support themselves and their families”.
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