WASHINGTON – Democrats in Congress are scrambling on Tuesday to increase funding for the federal government, with less than 72 hours left to survive the shutdown.
There will be a possible shutdown Friday at the start of the fiscal year if the bill funding the government does not pass both the House and Senate.
Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt to combine government funding with an increase in the amount the country could borrow.
credit limit, which is projected to reach the country by mid-October, is another pending crisis. Democrats argue It is irresponsible to stop the increase in the loan limit, But Republicans argue that Democrats should approve it on their own.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. on Monday proposed to vote on government funding alone without an increase in the debt limit. But they needed a consensus to debate the proposal, and the Democrats opposed it.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Warns Congress The country will reach the debt limit on Tuesday. 18 October. He urged lawmakers to protect the country’s full confidence and credit “as soon as possible.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., each said they would take further action this week to increase funding ahead of the new fiscal year that begins Friday. Working out the loan limit may require more time and debate.
“This is not your typical Washington freak and should not be treated as such,” Schumer said. “It has far more serious consequences than the usual political battle.”
In addition to overall government funding and debt, lawmakers face a vote this week on infrastructure and President Joe Biden’s social welfare priorities.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said new legislative proposals to avoid government shutdowns and increase the country’s borrowing capacity could come as early as Tuesday.
Funding for the federal government ends Thursday at the end of the fiscal year. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress on Tuesday that the country would reach its debt limit on October 18.
Lawmakers also face Thursday’s vote on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure law, while negotiations continue on the details of a $3.5 trillion bill that covers much of Biden’s domestic agenda.
But he said that both the infrastructure and the bigger package would be approved.
“We will pass both the bills,” he said.
Lawmakers are debating how to avoid future votes on debt limits. One option is from Representative Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., who, along with House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., proposed legislation to give the Treasury Secretary the authority to raise the debt limit, which Congress would then have to reject. could vote for.
— Bart Janssen
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress on Tuesday that the country would reach its borrowing limit on October 18.
The department has been taking extraordinary measures for months to avoid default in its loans. Steps include not funding the Civil Service and Postal Service retirement programs. But those measures would end up with “very limited resources that would be quickly exhausted.”
“It is uncertain whether we can continue to meet all of the nation’s commitments after that date,” Yellen wrote in a letter to leaders of both parties in Congress and the tax-writing committees. “The full faith and credit of the United States must not be put at risk.”
It has already warned of dire consequences if the country defaults on its loans. She wrote that waiving the deadline “could cause serious damage to business and consumer confidence, increase borrowing costs for taxpayers and negatively impact credit ratings for the United States for years to come.” Is.”
— Bart Janssen
Another law slated for a House vote this week is a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes $550 billion in new funding that the Senate has already approved.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill enjoys widespread support. But progressive House Democrats have insisted it goes ahead with a $3.5 trillion package of Biden’s priorities, which is still being negotiated between the House and Senate.
A group of nine moderate House Democrats got a commitment to vote Monday on infrastructure, whether or not the big package is finished. The deadline moved to Thursday, but a leader of the Moderates, Rep. Josh Gotheimer, DN.J. Said it would not slip again.
“We’re going to have a big week. We’re going to get the infrastructure bill on the floor that he talked about, and we’re going to have votes,” Gotheimer said. Will continue what we’re doing, which is working on a $3.5 trillion package.”
The Senate has already approved the infrastructure bill, so House approval will send it to Biden. The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. called it the largest investment ever made since Amtrak was built and the largest investment in passenger railways, the highest bridge investment since construction. The Interstate Highway System and the largest investment in drinking water and wastewater in history.
DeFazio said, “Americans damage their cars with potholes, bridges that fail, transit malfunctions, derail trains, explosions in waterways, sewer systems that flow back into their basements and pollute our rivers.” are tired of.”
Dozens of progressive Democrats have threatened to oppose the infrastructure bill – and potentially reject it – if it goes without a $3.5 trillion package.
However, Pelosi appeared positive on Monday.
“Our members are so idealistic, strategic and interested in achieving results,” Pelosi said Monday evening after meeting with members of the Democratic caucus. “It was a beautiful meeting. I’m so proud of them.”
Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., head of the Progressive Caucus, said after the meeting she would like to see where talks on the $3.5 trillion package take place before a vote on infrastructure.
Prominent senators have urged lower spending and taxation. Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., each of whom said the $3.5 trillion price tag is too high, are expected to meet with Biden again on Tuesday.
But progressives say they should explain what should be cut from proposals such as universal preschool and community college, paid family and medical leave, and expansion of Medicare.
“Let’s walk through the actual legislative text, the stage of getting the agreement from the Senate,” Jayapal said. “Then we can talk about everything else. But some of it depends on how the conversation goes. What other commitment is there other than a vote that is not going to stop?”
Representative Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, another progressive Democrat, said he was optimistic enough work on the big package would have been completed so that he could support the infrastructure bill on Thursday. He hopes continued meetings on Tuesday will lead to greater agreement on what can be passed in both the House and Senate.
“I think it’s all settled, we’ll be in a better position to decide how to proceed,” Umar said.