Congress appears on the verge of approving an Omnibus Spending Bill to fund the US Government (USG) through the end of the current fiscal year that runs until September 30, 2021 and a $900B COVID Relief program. Without some action by midnight there would be a government shutdown.

One alternative that is being considered is a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund the government for a few days while work is finished on the COVID Relief package. The other alternative is to have the government suffer a short-term shut down over the weekend with passage of a budget and relief bill on Sunday or Monday.

A breakthrough could be announced at any time; but the broad outline of the COVID Relief package is legislation that contains the following: an individual $600 stimulus check for each adult and child under age 17, 10 weeks of extended unemployment that would include a $300 weekly supplement from the federal government, a new PPP small business loan program, and money for schools and vaccine distribution. There are other ideas such as funds designated for art and cultural institutions and an airline employee program that are being negotiated.

While all the Congressional leaders agree that a deal is near, a last minute complication has been a proposal by Republic...

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