Democrats dare GOP to vote against government funding bill
House Democrats are preparing to vote Tuesday on a bill that will fund the government until December 3, provide billions of dollars in emergency disaster relief and billions more to support Afghan evacuees – but it should be blocked by Republicans in the Senate.
The federal government faces an impending shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, leaving lawmakers little time to compromise on a suspension of the debt ceiling, which Democrats have tied to the spending bill to adopt.
Senate Republicans say they oppose the suspension of the debt ceiling because of the additional spending measures Democrats are developing, even though it would pay for previous spending. But Senate Democrats have worked with Republicans under the Trump administration to repeatedly raise the debt ceiling and say it is a bipartisan responsibility.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said if Congress does not act to raise the debt ceiling, the United States could default on its debt in October, potentially triggering an “economic catastrophe.”
Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have said for weeks that they will oppose any measure raising the debt ceiling, insisting Democrats can do it on their own given their control over the three branches of government.
“Since the Democrats have decided to go it alone, they will not get help from Senate Republicans in raising the debt ceiling. I have been explaining this clearly and consistently for over two months,” said McConnell Monday in the Senate.
But Democrats are moving forward and remain optimistic about the bill’s prospects, knowing full well the challenge they face in rallying Republicans.
“We hope the Republicans in the Senate will do the right thing as well and stop playing politics around the debt limit,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said at a press conference Tuesday.
Jeffries said at least a handful of Republicans have publicly expressed that they will eventually vote for the bill. Democrats need at least 10 Republicans in the Senate to support the bill.
“Three times – during the former president’s administration – three times House Democrats have cooperated to raise the debt ceiling,” Jeffries said.
“Now all of a sudden they want to block the American people and the American economy and all of our faith and our credit, because they’re playing politics?” Jeffries told Republicans in the Senate.
“Senate Republicans should hear their friends at big banks and big business explain how catastrophic a default on our debt would be for industry, commerce, the economy and, most importantly, the American people,” he said. added Jeffries.
Without the support of the GOP, it is unclear how Democrats plan to tackle the issue of raising or suspending the debt limit on their own.
âLimiting the debt is a shared responsibility, and I urge Congress to come together, with that in mind, on a bipartisan basis as it has done in the past to protect the full faith and credit of the United States. “wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. a letter to members this weekend.
The short-term funding bill unveiled on Tuesday extends funding until Dec. 3 for all vital federal agencies, including health, housing, education and public safety programs.
“It is essential that Congress passes this legislation swiftly to support essential education, health, housing and public safety programs and to provide emergency assistance to disaster survivors and Afghan evacuees,” said the president. of House Appropriations, Rosa DeLauro, in a statement Tuesday.
The bill also includes $ 28.6 billion in emergency disaster assistance to deal with recent natural disasters, including multiple hurricanes and wildfires, severe droughts and winter storms in 2021 and previous years.
The legislation suspends the debt ceiling until December 2022.