Dangers Loom as Coronavirus Relief Talks Drag On

Disagreements over a temporary spending bill, including whether one was even needed, threatened a government funding lapse as lawmakers slowly worked their way through COVID-19 aid bill disputes.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune said Thursday afternoon that negotiations on a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and pandemic aid package had turned into a game of “whack-a-mole” where one issue gets resolved and another pops up.

Lawmakers were prepping a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open over the weekend to buy time for votes in both chambers. But absent an agreement on the larger package’s contents, that procedural step could face objections, Thune said.

“I know people who are going to object to that, that want to keep pressure on the process until we get a deal. So it would take consent obviously to do a short-term CR,” the South Dakota Republican told reporters.

Continue reading at Roll Call.