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Government shutdown, COVID talk await Congress

Kimberly Adams Sep 8, 2020
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As the Senate and the House return from recess, the pandemic and the prospect of a government shutdown loom on the agenda. Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

Government shutdown, COVID talk await Congress

Kimberly Adams Sep 8, 2020
Heard on:
As the Senate and the House return from recess, the pandemic and the prospect of a government shutdown loom on the agenda. Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images
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The Senate returns from its August recess today, and the House officially comes back next week. There was news Friday of a deal to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month. 

There are two big things Congress needs to get done this fall.

First, “they need to work to make sure that the government does not shut down at the end of September,” which means funding the government, said Tamara Fucile at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“Then they also urgently need to address the coronavirus health and economic pandemic that we’re seeing and need to work on a relief package to help struggling households and businesses,” she added.

The November election is looming over all of this. Neither party wants a shutdown that will make it look like they can’t govern effectively. But there’s also not much incentive to compromise in this political environment.

“All of these issues are conflating and they are signals that ultimately Congress is essentially paralyzed until the election,” said Ravi Perry, who teaches political science at Howard University.

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