Well, it looks like there won’t be a government shutdown countdown tonight after all. For once, congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle managed to reach an agreement with time to spare, and a government spending bill will be approved today.
The bill has lost some of the onerous policy riders Republicans had put onto it, although the D.C. ban on paying for abortions appears to still be in place. Also included in the negotiations was a plan for extending the payroll tax holiday, although likely just a short term extension of two months for further decisions on how to pay for it to be made. One way that is totally off the table, according to Senator Max Baucus, Finance Committee Chairman, the millionaire surtax proposal.
Unemployment benefits are also expected to be extended, although the length of the extension may depend upon the percentage of unemployed workers in each state.
A temporary spending bill should be voted on at some point prior to midnight.
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