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Senate Clears Stopgap Spending Bill to Avoid a Shutdown, Sending It to Trump

  • October 01, 2020

In giving final approval to the measure, lawmakers completed the last of the essential legislative tasks that were keeping them in Washington before the election on Nov. 3, clearing the way for Congress to begin a recess and for members to scatter around the country to campaign for re-election.

It remained unclear, however, when lawmakers would depart, as top House Democrats and Trump administration officials made a final push for an elusive bipartisan deal on an economic recovery plan that both sides have said is desperately needed to address to continuing toll of the pandemic. Senators were also bracing for the possibility that a partisan feud over Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could bleed into next week, keeping that chamber in session.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin huddled in Ms. Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office on Wednesday afternoon, toiling to hammer out a stimulus deal that could be acceptable to Mr. Trump and to Democrats. The meeting ended without a deal, and Ms. Pelosi announced that Democrats would soon vote on Democrats’ latest, $2.2 trillion proposal, which Republicans are all but certain to reject.

But the two said they had made progress in their talks and agreed to continue negotiations.

“We have more work to do, and we’re going to see where we end up,” Mr. Mnuchin said as he left the Capitol.

Ms. Pelosi, under pressure from moderates to redouble efforts to find a compromise before the elections, was determined to give Democrats one final opportunity to vote in favor of a recovery plan — this one about $1.2 trillion less costly than the stimulus plan the House passed in May. The vote, she said in a statement, would serve to “formalize our proffer to Republicans in the negotiations to address the health and economic catastrophe in our country.”

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