A long weekend of deals and a late night of voting turned a nine-month stalemate into a 5,593-page COVID relief and omnibus measure to fund the Federal government through September 2021. The House and Senate approved the legislation late on Dec. 21, and sent the bill to President Trump for his signature.

A technical error delayed the text of the bill being uploaded until 2 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 21, giving members of Congress just 10 hours to read and pass the bill to avoid a government shutdown.

The catchall bill was voted on in two sections in the House, with Divisions B, C, E, and F getting a separate vote, and then the remainder.

Division B deals with funding for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Division C contains appropriations for the Department of Defense.Division E pertains to the Treasury, Executive Branch, Judiciary, District of Columbia and independent agencies, and Division F has appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security.

Both votes passed in a largely bipartisan manner, with Divisions B, C, E, and F passing by a 325-87 vote, and the rest of the legislation approved with a 359-53 vote. The Senate later passed the measure by a 91-7 vote.

The Senate also adopted a rule changing the end date on the last Continuing Resolution to Dec. 28, which would keep the government funded for another week, and give President Trump time to sign the full-year spending and stimulus bill.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.