enate Republicans block bills to avert a government shutdown.
As the deadline to avoid a government shutdown approaches at the end of the week,
the Senate failed to pass a crucial procedural vote to move the House-passed short-term government funding measure.
The procedural motion defeat 48 to 50 in the Senate, with Republicans rejecting the temporary bill because it contained a debt limit extension.
Republicans have said that they would not support an increase in the debt ceiling and have demanded that Democrats bear the electoral consequences of the vote.
Even before the vote was formally defeated, Democrats were considering backup plans to avoid a government shutdown.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said, “If this doesn’t pass, we have to keep the government open.”
“Everyone should worry, but Maryland is especially vulnerable.”
If lawmakers do not agree on financing for the government by the end of the week,
the government will shut down.
The Treasury Department said that if the debt ceiling is not rais by October,
it exceeds, with dire repercussions for the US economy.
Although no one party is responsible for the accumulated debt that required increasing the debt ceiling, Republicans are linking the rise to Democrats’ proposal to approve billions of dollars in spending on social safety net programs.
To overcome a filibuster in the Senate, the federal funding bill requires 60 votes,
which means at least 10 Republicans would have to break ranks.
Before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stated,
“We will support a clean continuing resolution that will avoid a government shutdown.”
“We will not support increasing the debt ceiling with Republican votes.”
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Republicans want Democrats to increase the debt ceiling in a separate measure from the massive multibillion-dollar bill they intend to approve on a party-line vote.
Democrats have resisted, claiming that doing so would establish a precedent in which just one party is accountable for paying the nation’s debts,
which both parties have accumulated over many years.
“If Republicans vote no, they will be on record intentionally undermining our country’s capacity to pay its debts, possibly triggering the first-ever default in American history,
” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., warned Monday, predicting “another recession” if that happens.
“So I urge my Republican colleagues to think carefully about the real implications of what they’re doing,” he added, adding that in such case,
the government may be unable to deliver Social Security payments or give benefits to veterans.
In a statement released last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer argued that extending the debt ceiling,
until December 2022 “would provide an amount of time commensurate with the debt incurred as a result of passing last winter’s bipartisan $908 billion emergency COVID relief legislation,
” which they noted received widespread Republican support and sign into law by then-President Donald Trump.
The package also contains billions in disaster relief funds for recent storms and wildfires,
as well as money to help evacuees after the United States’ departure from Afghanistan.
Simultaneously, the House is set to vote on an infrastructure bill on Thursday,
which radical Democrats have vowed to filibuster in order to gain more power over a second multibillion-dollar deal.
The vote suppose to take place on Monday.
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