Economic relief talks in disarray as congressional bickering intensifies
By Mike DeBonis and Jeff Stein
Congressional bickering over a new economic relief package escalated Thursday as lawmakers traded blame and put negotiations over critical legislation on the brink of collapse.
And the finger-pointing even threatened to imperil a must-pass spending bill in the Senate, as lawmakers were still unsure whether they would be able to pass a measure by a deadline Friday night to avert a government shutdown.
The worsening situation came as multiple lawmakers appeared to be pursuing conflicting goals, with little time to sort out disagreements. The House passed a spending bill Wednesday to fund the government for one week and avoid a shutdown deadline Friday night. The Senate must pass an identical bill — and have President Trump sign it — to avoid a shutdown, but as of Thursday afternoon, lawmakers still weren’t sure how to do that with unanimous consent.