Congress scrambles to avoid government shutdown

D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Funding for most government agencies is about to expire and lawmakers in Washington are scrambling to prevent a government shutdown.

Most government agencies will run out of money on Dec. 11.

“A government shutdown is fundamentally an admission that the government is not taking care of the people’s business,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

A shutdown could impact government services and benefits Americans receive, all during a pandemic that’s devastating the health and personal economies of Americans.

“This also has a huge effect on the private sector as well,” Wyden said. “The consequences are very real.”

As the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, Wyden is among those trying to hammer out the details for a budget deal. But negotiations are complicated by the fact that lawmakers have been gridlocked for months over another round of coronavirus relief spending.

“I’m going to be speaking to the speaker this afternoon we are going to talk about where we are on appropriations and funding the government,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin.

If Republicans and Democrats can reach an agreement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the spending package could help expedite coronavirus aid.

“Given the challenges of moving things across the Senate floor speedily, that would be a vehicle to add on whatever coronavirus relief bill we know will get a presidential signature,” McConnell said.

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