Shutdown deadline looms over COVID-19 relief talks

WASHINGTON (AP) – Top negotiators on a must-pass, almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package are committed to sealing an agreement in hopes of passing the legislation this weekend.

The pressure is on. Government funding lapses at midnight Friday and a partial, low-impact shutdown would ensue if Congress fails to pass a stopgap spending bill before then.

That’s not guaranteed, since some Republicans might block the stopgap measure to keep the pressure on if the talks haven’t borne fruit. But all sides appeared hopeful that last-minute wrangling wouldn’t derail the legislation.

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