16:03 GMT15 January 2021
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    The US House of Representatives passed on Wednesday an emergency one-week extension of funding for the US federal government. The Senate will vote on the measure later this week, which will cover federal government expenses until December 18.

    Lawmakers have yet to negotiate passage of a larger omnibus spending bill to fund the government into 2021, creating the need for the emergency patch-up resolution.

    US President Donald Trump signed a September continuing resolution that provided funding only until December 11, Sputnik reported.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) blasted the need for a stopgap bill as “an admission of failure.”

    "This is something we have to do to keep the government working. But we ought not to believe or pretend or represent this is the way we ought to do business. It is not. It is a function of procrastination, a function of failing to come together and making compromises," Hoyer said on the House floor prior to the vote, according to The Hill.

    The negotiations over a new spending bill have taken place amid several other contentious financial debates, including the final contents of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA - the massive bill that funds the Pentagon - and a potential COVID-19 stimulus package.

    Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) told reporters at the Capitol that negotiations on the omnibus bill were “probably 95%” complete. "We’ve got to get a deal,” he said. “I think perhaps the omnibus and the COVID relief are kind of linked."

    The need for a new pandemic stimulus bill has been debated for months, with Democrats introducing a $2.2 trillion bill in September that was a rehashed version of a bill that failed to pass in April. The present debate is over a $908 billion relief bill that represents extensive compromise by both Democrats and Republicans, but conflict remains over state and local money on the one hand and liability coverage on the other.

    Trump has threatened to veto the NDAA if a provision for renaming US military installations named after Confederate leaders isn’t removed, or if a provision isn’t inserted to end Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which protects internet companies from liability issues associated with content published by users on their sites. The NDAA passed by the House on Tuesday meets neither of his demands.


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    government shutdown, negotiations, spending bill, US House of Representatives
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