U.S. lawmakers near agreement on $1.4 trillion government spending bill

Washington DC Bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — House and Senate lawmakers are close to an agreement on a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package. The deal is expected to be released on Tuesday, putting Congress on track to pass it before the government runs out of funding Friday.

“The American people are counting on us to do our job,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Minority leader Chuck Schumer met late Tuesday afternoon to discuss the final details of the package.

The big question now is if that trillion-dollar deal will also include some kind of coronavirus relief. Lawmakers haven’t passed any new COVID-19 relief since July.

Republicans say any bill must include liability protections for businesses, while Democrats are pushing for additional funding for local governments.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) says Tuesday’s meeting will determine the fate of both provisions.

“And now it is going to be in the hands of the leadership. I hope that we can call it this week. We should not go home without it,” Durbin said.

But White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says the president may not sign the bill. She said he’s waiting to see what the leaders in Congress come up with.

“He’d really like to see stimulus checks; his priority at the end of the day is getting relief to the American people,” said McEnany. “We’ve been the party that’s flexible.”

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