October 1, 2022


Senate Republicans blocked a House-passed bill to suspend the debt ceiling and avert a government shutdown from advancing within the Senate on Monday.

The move comes after Republicans had insisted that Democrats act alone to deal with the debt ceiling and leaves Congress without a transparent decide to keep the govt open with the threat of a possible shutdown looming by the top of the week.

Government funding is about to expire on September 30, and therefore the stopgap bill the House approved last week would extend funding and keep the govt open through December 3. additionally , the measure includes a debt ceiling suspension through December 16, 2022. The clock is ticking to deal with the debt ceiling and Congress may only have until mid-October to act before the federal can not pay its bills.

The Senate voted on a procedural motion to advance the legislation, which needed 60 votes to succeed. Since Democrats control only 50 seats within the chamber, they might have needed 10 Senate Republicans to choose favor.

In the end, the bill failed on a 48-50 party-line vote with no Republicans voting with Democrats in support of the measure. After he voted to advance the bill, Senate legislator Chuck Schumer switched his vote from a “yes” to a “no” so he could preserve his procedural ability to bring it up again.

With the measure failing to advance within the Senate, congressional Democratic leaders will now need to scramble to work out an idea B. As of now, Congress doesn’t yet have an idea announced by Democratic leadership in both chambers about how they’re going to keep the govt operating perilously on the brink of the date when funding will dry out and a shutdown might be triggered.

After the failed vote, Schumer promised “further action” in the week to stop a shutdown but didn’t outline an idea .

“Keeping the govt open and preventing a default is significant to our country’s future and we’ll be taking further action to stop this from happening in the week ,” he said.

In a sign of how closely the White home is monitoring things , President Joe Biden held a call with Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday, consistent with a readout from the White House.

The group “discussed the work being done by Democrats to avoid a breach of the United States’ full faith and credit within the face of Republican obstruction and irresponsibility — GOP actions that show a scarcity of concern about our economic recovery,” the readout said.

It’s possible Democrats could move to strip out the debt ceiling suspension from the funding bill and plan to pass a clean stopgap spending measure quickly through both chambers before the deadline, which Senate Republicans have said they might support, but it isn’t yet clear what is going to happen.

Democrats do have options to boost the debt ceiling on their own to stop the US from defaulting on its debts, but they argue that the vote should be a bipartisan shared responsibility.

Schumer criticized Republicans before the vote, saying, “after today there’ll be little question about which party during this chamber is functioning to unravel the issues that face our country, and which party is accelerating us towards unnecessary, avoidable disaster.”

Senate legislator Mitch McConnell has made clear for months that Republicans won’t vote to extend the federal borrowing limit, setting the stage for a serious showdown over the difficulty . McConnell’s threat has prompted outrage from Democrats, who have said the GOP leader is playing a dangerous game that would tank the US economy. Republicans argue that it isn’t uncommon for the bulk party to shoulder the burden for increasing the debt ceiling , a politically toxic vote for lawmakers up for reelection.

McConnell said on Monday before the vote that Republicans are able to support a bill to avert a shutdown as long because it doesn’t have the debt ceiling attached.

“Let me make it abundantly clear another time: we’ll support a clean continuing resolution which will prevent a government shutdown … we’ll not provide Republican votes for raising the debt ceiling ,” he said.

“Republicans aren’t rooting for a shutdown or a debt ceiling breach,” he added.

Prior to the Senate vote, McConnell attempted to mention a clean stopgap bill to stay the govt open that might not include the debt ceiling provision as an alternate to what Democrats wanted to pass. Senate Democrats objected to a unanimous consent request to advance that proposal.

By attaching the debt ceiling suspension to the must-pass funding bill, Democrats are essentially daring Republicans to vote no and spark a shutdown.

The stakes are extremely high. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on Congress to boost the debt limit during a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, warning that if the US defaults on its debt, it “could trigger a spike in interest rates, a steep drop by stock prices and other financial turmoil.”


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