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Congress Averts Government Shutdown Until After The Election as Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Heat Up

Congress Averts Government Shutdown Until After The Election as Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Heat Up

President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan spending bill on Wednesday that averted a government shutdown until after the election, CNN reports.

The Senate voted 84-10 to pass the bill hours before funding was set to expire on Wednesday. The House passed the bill 359-57 last week.

The bill only funds the government until December 11, however, setting up a potential fight over government funding during the lame-duck sessions after the election.

A deal on the bill was reached after extensive negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Deal includes Trump demand:

The deal includes tens of billions of dollars to the Commodity Credit Corporation, which provides aid to farmers and was a key demand by President Donald Trump, who views farmers as a core constituency.

The deal also includes nearly $8 billion in nutrition assistance, which was pushed for by Democrats.

The House considered passing a bill without the farm aid and nutrition assistance but Democrats in areas that rely on agriculture pushed for it to be added back in.

Negotiations restart on coronavirus relief:

Mnuchin and Pelosi have also restarted negotiations on a coronavirus relief bill, according to Politico.

Mnuchin said that Trump is eager to make a deal and has approved up to $1.6 trillion in spending in the bill.

Pelosi has moved down from the Democrats' initial $3.4 trillion bill to $2.4 trillion.

Republicans are demanding a bill that will cost less than $2 trillion while Democrats say the deal must include more than $2 trillion in spending.

Though Mnuchin and Pelosi have made progress, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threaten to kill the deal.

“McConnell is not going to put a bill on the floor that doesn’t command the support of a majority of Senate Republicans -- or damn close to it -- and a bill north of $1 trillion won’t accomplish that,” Politico reported. “Don’t assume that if Trump says jump here, McConnell asks him how high. So if Pelosi and Mnuchin come up with a deal -- if they come up with anything -- it’s not necessarily cool with McConnell.”