Senate OKs Stopgap Spending Bill

September 30, 2020

The Senate voted 82-6 Tuesday evening to advance a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown by midnight tonight. On Sept. 22, the House passed, by a vote of 359-57, a bill that would temporarily fund the federal government beyond the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30.  

Once the formal vote on the continuing resolution (CR) occurs, senators are likely to be done legislating until after the November 3 election, barring the announcement of a bicameral deal on economic stimulus relief package that would require a floor vote. The only other action currently expected in that chamber during the next 40 days is related to confirmation hearings which begin on Oct. 12 for and potential consideration of the new Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The CR, while far short of bipartisan full-year funding bills, is the product of bipartisan negotiation and an agreement between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – one that appeared to fall apart just a few weeks before the funding deadline. But the agreement, once it is signed into law, will take the threat of a shutdown prior to the November presidential election off the table, even as it sets up the possibility of a funding fight and potential shutdown after the election and just before the start of a new Congress.