Congress will consider a one-week temporary funding bill for the U.S. government to give lawmakers time to reach agreement in negotiations aimed at bailing out the COVID-19 pandemic and on a general budget bill, a leading Democrats said on Monday.
The Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House of Representatives are due to take action by Friday, when current federal agency funding expires. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hope to add a long-awaited pandemic relief package to the $ 1.4 trillion budget proposal.
Negotiations did not lead to a final agreement, which required the House of Representatives to vote on temporary funding for the federal government to give an extra week for negotiations.
“I am disappointed that we have not yet reached an agreement on financing the government’s work. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives will vote for the government to continue working while negotiations are underway, ”said House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
A group of House and Senate lawmakers were expected to present the text of the $ 908 billion bill on Monday to mitigate the effects of the pandemic in the early days of President-elect Joe Biden.
Lawmakers and their aides failed to do this over the weekend. However, the Trump administration is showing optimism. For example, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that negotiations are going in the right direction and that the Trump administration and Congress are close to an agreement.
“We communicate – there are many conversations. I think we are moving in the right direction. We’re getting closer [к решению]”- said Kudlow in an interview with The Washington Post.
The US Chamber of Commerce in a new memorandum to Congress noted that failure to take measures to provide assistance could lead to a “double recession”: when a downturn is followed by a short-term recovery, and then another recession, which will permanently stop small businesses and leave millions of Americans without funds to existence.
The same problems have blocked the passage of the bailout bill for months, leading to growing frustration among businessmen, labor unions, government and local officials, and ordinary Americans.
At the beginning of the year, lawmakers voted in favor of $ 3 trillion in bailout, but failed to agree on new bailouts since April. The emergency package, including supplementary unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions, expires at the end of December.