House passes temporary funding bill to prevent government shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives passed a one-week temporary funding bill on Wednesday that will prevent a partial government shutdown.

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The vote passed by a 343-67 margin. The measure now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass, according to The Associated Press.

The measure sets a new deadline of Dec. 18 for Congress to finish up the COVID-19 relief measure and a $1.4 trillion spending bill that is also overdue, according to the AP.

Talks on the broader stimulus package continue, although there is a possibility discussions could break down after the White House on Tuesday proposed a relief bill that would offer only minimal benefits to unemployed Americans, The Washington Post reported.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers revealed details about its $908 billion stimulus compromise, but was still struggling to find common ground on crucial details, The New York Times reported.

The six-page framework, which was obtained by the Times, said the group had an “agreement in principle” for providing $160 billion to state and local governments and offering liability protections to businesses “as the basis for good-faith negotiations.” However, the outline omitted details about how to address the sticking points to the agreement.

“We’re trying to get a bipartisan compromise along the lines of the Gang of Eight framework,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, told reporters. “We need leader (Mitch) McConnell to stop sabotaging the talks and work with this gang of eight, which is the most hopeful and the only bipartisan group together.”

Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-South Dakota said the only way to resolve the negotiations is for McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House to take charge.

“The bipartisan group provided a good foundation kind of a place to start from. And hopefully, the negotiations are real negotiations on what can ultimately pass the House, the Senate, and get signed,” Thune told reporters. “We need to get under way.”