Senate legislator Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday night that Democrats had reached an agreement with Republicans on a stopgap bill to stay the govt funded through early December and can vote Thursday on the measure to avert a shutdown. “We have an agreement on the CR — the continuing resolution to stop a government shutdown — and that we should be voting thereon tomorrow morning,” Schumer said. The stopgap bill will include emergency funding for natural disaster relief and to help in Afghan refugee resettlement, the NY Democrat said earlier.
The clock is ticking with government funding set to expire on Thursday, but Schumer said the Senate “can approve this measure quickly, and send it to the House so it can reach the President’s desk before funding expires midnight tomorrow.” The home is expected to require up the measure once the Senate has acted.
The effort to stop a shutdown has in recent days been trapped during a fight over the way to address a looming debt ceiling crisis. Democrats initially attempted to pair the 2 fiscal issues — the debt ceiling and government funding — and pass legislation that might resolve both, but that ran aground within the Senate thanks to GOP opposition. Republicans have said they might support a “clean” stopgap funding bill that doesn’t include a debt ceiling provision, arguing that Democrats must address the debt ceiling on their own without GOP votes. Democrats have pushed back, saying that addressing the debt ceiling may be a shared bipartisan responsibility.
In the face of GOP opposition to combining the 2 issues, Congress now appears poised to pass a “clean” funding bill without the debt ceiling attached. Schumer said Wednesday that when they fund the govt, Congress still must “address the urgent matter of extending the debt limit .”
He said that Democrats are working to seek out an answer to avoid a default, but “Republicans have stymied us at every opportunity.” It’s still not clear exactly when the Senate will vote on the stopgap bill to stay the govt open — and when it’ll make it to the House for a vote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday afternoon that she doesn’t believe the govt will pack up Thursday night which the House will pass a stopgap bill to fund the govt. “No, I do not,” the California Democrat said when asked if she believed the govt will pack up late Thursday.
“I think we’ll have an enormous vote tomorrow,” the speaker added. In his floor remarks, Schumer repeated his strong criticism of Republican legislator Mitch McConnell and therefore the Senate GOP for opposing helping Democrats raise the debt limit. “If we always let the debt limit lapse because one party or the opposite didn’t like some future action that the opposite party would take, we’d never roll in the hay. It’s an absurd argument,” Schumer argued.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the federal will likely run out of money and extraordinary measures by October 18, leaving Congress with little time to act to debar what would likely be a catastrophic default. Democrats do have the choice to boost the debt ceiling on their own employing a process referred to as budget reconciliation, but Schumer has argued that route is just too risky. Schumer reiterated his warning on Wednesday that taking place the trail of using reconciliation is “very risky” and “could well lead us to default.” With Republicans strongly against helping Democrats in any thanks to suspending the debt limit, it leaves unsure how Congress will address the looming crisis within the next few weeks before the US would default its debt.
“In solving this crisis, this body cannot and can not undergo a drawn-out unpredictable process sought by the legislator. It risks the complete faith and credit of us,” he said. “To do that through reconciliation requires ping-ponging separate bills back from the Senate and therefore the House. It’s uncharted waters. Individual senators could move to delay, delay and delay. it’s very risky and will well lead us to default.” Still, Republicans say that the budget process for Democrats to boost the debt ceiling would take just one to 2 weeks. For now, both parties are waiting to ascertain if the opposite will blink because the political brinksmanship intensifies and therefore the stakes grow higher.