- The Washington Times - Friday, December 11, 2020

Senators approved a one-week extension of government spending Friday, doing their part to head off a government shutdown this weekend.

The measure, which passed the Senate on a voice vote, already cleared the House and now needs President Trump’s signature, which the White House has given every indication will be forthcoming.

The one-week infusion of cash keeps the government running at fiscal year 2020 levels, and buys time for negotiators to finish a massive bill to fund the government for all of fiscal year 2021.

Without it, the government would have run out of money at midnight. The effects wouldn’t have been felt much over the weekend, but would have begun to bite by Monday.

Senate leaders had fretted about clearing the spending bill in time, as they battled objections from both the far left and the far right, where lawmakers were holding the legislation hostage in order to get accommodations on other issues.

But those objections dissipated Friday.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who’d been one of the hurdles, said his goal was to delay a defense policy bill, but he would not object to approving the spending measure.

Sens. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, and Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, also withdrew their objections Friday afternoon. They had been seeking a vote on a plan to offer another round of stimulus checks to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

They said they were willing to let this spending bill go without getting a vote on their plan, but they said they will not be willing to let any future bill go through unless they’ve had their say.

“We’re not going to go home for the Christmas holidays unless we make sure that we provide for the millions of families in this country who are suffering,” Mr. Sanders said.

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