WASHINGTON – Congress may take action Wednesday to fund the government clock ticks off Friday is rolling in.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., said the chamber could vote as early as Wednesday on a temporary extension of funding until early December. The bill will then go to the House for vote and for President Joe Biden’s signature.
“We can approve this measure quickly and send it to the House so that it reaches the president’s desk at midnight tomorrow before funding ends,” Schumer said.
Government funding ends with the end of the financial year September 30. The House had approved a combined spending expansion and an increase in the debt limit. But Senate Republicans blocked the bill on Monday, arguing that Democrats should raise the debt limit on their own.
Senate leaders are checking to see if a senator will block a move to approve just one funding bill.
The funding bill will give the government operations till December 3, giving lawmakers time to approve regular spending measures for the fiscal year beginning October 1. The bill will also provide $28.6 billion for disaster assistance and $6.3 billion for Afghan refugees.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, said Tuesday lawmakers are waiting to send a funding extension to the Senate, which the House can ratify.
The House Rules Committee will also consider Law to increase the amount the country can borrow Because this limit is estimated to expire on October 18, which could result in a worldwide economic catastrophe if the government fails to pay its bills.
In addition to spending decisions, Congress will still have to deal with debt limits. The House is set to vote on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Thursday.
But progressive House Democrats oppose approving the infrastructure bill unless President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion package of social welfare priorities is also resolved. Senate Republicans have argued that the only way for Democrats to quickly raise the debt limit is to tie it to a $3.5 trillion package, which could further complicate those talks.
Biden on Wednesday postponed a trip to Chicago, where he plans to promote the importance of vaccination against COVID-19, to continue talks about infrastructure and social programs.
But Biden on Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral with former Sen. Evan Beh, D-Ind. will attend a memorial service for the late Susan Beh, his wife.
Biden has met for several days with groups of Democratic lawmakers representing different factions in the debate. He Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. Have had several meetings with the U.S., each of which stated that the $3.5 trillion price tag is too high.
“They had a constructive meeting, agreed that we are at a critical moment, need to continue working to finalize the way forward,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Manchin later said that no commitments had been made, such as the figure for total spending, but talks were on.
Thursday The vote on infrastructure will test whether the struggling Democrats will unite Behind the bill passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate.
A group of nine House Moderates negotiated a vote on Monday on the measure so it won’t be tied to the more controversial $3.5 trillion package. But as progressive Democrats threatened to oppose it, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., moved the vote Thursday, when the federal highway program ends.
If Republicans oppose the bill in a narrowly divided House, the measure could be overshadowed by the defeat of four Democrats.
A leader of the Moderates, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DN.J. expressed confidence on Tuesday that voting would take place on Thursday and that the bill would be approved.
“There is nothing partisan about fixing our roads and bridges and tunnels,” he said.
But the head of the Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said dozens of Democrats would oppose infrastructure until they had final language for a $3.5 trillion package that could gain approval in the House and Senate.
“This agenda is not some fringe wish list: it is the presidential agenda, the Democratic agenda, and we all promised voters when they gave us the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Jayapal said in a statement.