As the November elections rapidly approach, Congress faces a number of key legislative deadlines, including the need to fund federal agencies and extend expiring federal programs at the conclusion of the current fiscal year on September 30. Negotiations on an additional (“Phase 4”) COVID-19 relief package are at an impasse after the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress failed to reach agreement on a pathway forward after several rounds of closed-door discussions in August. The core disagreement is on the level of funding. The House Democrats have aligned behind the $3 trillion House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act while the Senate GOP Leadership originally staked out its position in the $1 trillion Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act introduced in the Senate back in late summer.
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