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Trump Signs Stopgap Spending Bill Averting Shutdown

President Donald Trump exits the Oval Office from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, D.C., September 30, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

President Trump signed a stopgap spending bill early Thursday morning that will allocate funding for the federal government until December 11.

The bill, known as a continuing resolution, was drafted following negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in an attempt to avoid a government shutdown.

Congress has been mired in partisan deadlock amid negotiations for a potential new coronavirus relief package, as well as presidential elections and the looming Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The continuing resolution will push back budget decisions until after the elections, although it is unclear if a lame-duck Congress will succeed in crafting a budget before a shutdown of the federal government.

The continuing resolution provides funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation, which gives aid to farmers and represented a Republican priority. Pelosi and the Democratic caucus won some restrictions on that funding, including barring CCC payments to fossil fuel industry members, and allocated an additional $8 billion to nutritional assistance programs.

It is not clear if Congress will be able to pass major legislation, including a coronavirus relief bill, before the election. Pelosi and Mnuchin unveiled a $2.2 trillion relief package this week after Senate Republicans rejected House Democrats’ previous $3.4 trillion offer.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) warned on Wednesday that the two sides were not close to an agreement.

“I think it’s safe to say we’re far apart,” McConnell told reporters. “We are very, very far apart.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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