Schumer says the Senate can vote on a funding invoice
The U.S. Capitol photographed in Washington, DC on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Majority leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate could vote on a bill that would prevent the government from closing on Wednesday.
Federal funds will be forfeited if Congress does not pass a grant plan before Thursday midnight. According to Schumer, a New York Democrat, the senators plan to propose a bill that the government would run through early December.
The proposal – which would require the support of all 100 senators to go through the chamber on Wednesday – would also include money for hurricane relief and resettlement of Afghan refugees.
“We can quickly approve this move and send it to the House of Representatives so that it can reach the president’s desk before funding runs out at midnight tomorrow,” Schumer said. “With so many critical issues to solve, the last thing the American people need right now is a government shutdown.”
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A loss of funding could lead to federal workers being given leave of absence and a cut in services. The Biden Administration’s Office of Management and Budget sent the agencies shutdown guidelines prior to the funding deadline.
If the legislature can keep the government going, it will only prevent an impending crisis. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress that around October 18, the U.S. will have no way to pay its bills unless lawmakers raise or suspend the debt ceiling – increasing the prospect of a first-ever default that will Could ruin US economy.
Government funding and the debt ceiling are separate issues. Increasing the credit limit does not entitle you to future expenses and allows the Treasury Department to meet its current obligations.
Democrats, who control both houses of Congress, tried this week to avert both crises in one fell swoop. The House of Representatives passed a bill that would fund the government and suspend the debt ceiling, but Republicans blocked it in the Senate on Monday. The GOP resisted efforts to raise the debt ceiling.
Once Congress passes a budget bill, Democrats must find a way to avoid defaulting themselves. On Tuesday, Republicans, who appeared to have been intent on raising the ceiling as part of their massive investment in social programs and climate policies, blocked a motion that would have allowed Democrats to raise the debt ceiling by a simple majority.
Schumer said on Wednesday that attempting to raise the cap through the budget reconciliation process would put Congress in “uncharted waters”.
“It is very risky and could well lead us into default even if only one senator wanted it to be,” he said. “So you can’t do it that route.”
This story evolves. Please check again for updates.
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