Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress
It was a week of deadlines for Congress, with the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Continuing Resolution (CR) expiring today. Just this afternoon, the Senate passed an additional week-long CR to give themselves more time to come to an agreement on final FY2021 funding. (The House of Representatives previously passed the week-long CR.) Final FY2021 funding will likely pass as a large package of multiple appropriations bills, called an Omnibus bill.
There is also an effort underway to attach additional COVID-19 pandemic relief to final FY2021 funding—this is likely the only way more pandemic relief will pass this year. As you will likely remember, these conversations have been ongoing for months, with little progress made. (the last meaningful COVID-19 assistance was passed in April.) With it being so close to the end of the year, it is unclear if this next week will bring any different results. The disagreements seem to be the same as they have been since these conversations began: disagreements on additional funding for state and local governments as well as liability protections for businesses.
Both chambers of Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week by large margins. President Trump has previously threatened to veto this bill because it does not include his last-minute demand to repeal legal protections for social media companies. As was mentioned during our Elections Re-Cap session at STD Engage 2020, this provision (referred to as Section 230) does not pertain to the military but is part of a decades-old law that protects online publishers such as Facebook and Twitter from liability for the content generated by users and posted to their sites. Trump had requested a repeal of this law be included in this must-pass legislation. Trump additionally threatened to veto the base NDAA bill because it includes an amendment that would create a commission to rename military bases and monuments that are now named in honor of Confederate commanders. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed this bill with enough votes to override a veto, but doing so will use up precious legislative time that could be spent working on the final FY2021 funding and/or COVID relief.