The legislation extends government funding until Dec. 18, giving Congress time to act on federal funding through 2021 and possibly additional COVID-19 relief. The Big “I" continues to advocate for small business support.
Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to extend government funding until Dec. 18 to give Congress time to act on longer-term federal funding legislation and possibly an additional tranche of COVID-19 relief.
The legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), averts a government shutdown as current funding was set to expire on Dec.11 at 11:59 p.m. The legislation had overwhelming bipartisan support with a vote of 343-67. As of press time, it is expected that the U.S. Senate would pass the CR and the President would sign it into law.
Passage of the CR now gives Congress just seven days to either pass another short-term CR through the new year or come to an agreement on “omnibus" legislation to fund the government for the next fiscal year. Congressional leaders are currently negotiating over several provisions in the massive spending package.
Further complicating matters, amidst the soaring COVID-19 case numbers, are the ongoing negotiations over much-needed pandemic relief, parts of which could be added to the “omnibus" legislation. The White House, the Senate, and the House are currently haggling over the same issues that have complicated talks for months: state and local aid, liability protections, and direct cash payments.
As talks progress, the Big “I" will continue to advocate for support for small businesses. Last week, the association sent two letters to congressional leaders on the need for more Paycheck Protection Program resources, the streamlining of the forgiveness process, and tax treatment.
Joseph Cortina is Big “I" director, federal government affairs.