Vote on Stopgap Bill Possible This Week
On Monday, September 21, Congressional leaders were working to finalize a deal on a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that would avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month. The deal would be void of many of the sticking points that caused a shutdown on the Friday, September 18, negotiations. The CR would likely go through December 11 and Democrats have agreed to remove tens of billions of dollars in trade relief for farmers requested by the White House, in addition to billions in pandemic-related food assistance for families. Democrats are hoping to file text of a stopgap as early as midday today with a vote on the measure this week. This CR would punt spending negotiations to the lame-duck session of Congress and possibly in the middle of a presidential transition.
Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
Negotiations on a final Coronavirus stimulus bill have stalled, with neither side knowing how to approach the table to hammer out sticking points. One major hurdle has been state and local funding - with Democrats requesting $900 billion over two years and Republicans holding at $100 billion in repurposed money over two years. Democrats have also asked for $300 billion for schools and Republicans only want to give $105 billion for schools.
House Republicans filed a discharge petition to circumvent leadership and force a vote on a bill enhancing the small business loans program, but the effort needs 218 signatures, so they need 20 Democrats to sign on. If Republicans succeed, this will be a defeat for House Democratic leadership -- it temporarily hands over the floor to Republicans, which could be an added incentive for Pelosi to get a deal.
Initial Jobless Claims
In the week ending September 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 860,000, a decrease of 33,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 9,000 from 884,000 to 893,000. The 4-week moving average was 912,000, a decrease of 61,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,250 from 970,750 to 973,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 8.6 percent for the week ending September 5, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate.
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Click here to read the entire September 21 weekly legislative update.