US Government Shutdown Update
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Republicans in the U.S. Senate are preparing to block a bill that would raise the U.S. debt limit and fund the federal government, working alone to avoid a budget crisis over the weekend by increasing pressure on Democratic lawmakers.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a measure earlier this month in a party-line vote to avoid an official shutdown on Oct. 1 and raise the U.S. debt limit until December next year.
But all 50 Republicans in the Senate, which Democrats control by the lowest margin, are ready to reject the bill when Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brings it to the floor on Monday evening. While the bill requires 60 votes to pass in the upper house, it is almost certain to fail.
The vote will bring a week-long stand-off among Democrats যারা who have called on the GOP to sign the Treasury row and Republicans, who have firmly refused to support the measure and have repeatedly accused Joe Biden’s party of reckless public spending.
The latest financial showdown between Democrats and Republicans comes as Democratic lawmakers fight to bridge internal party divisions to pass Biden’s flagship $ 1.2tn infrastructure bill and সামাজিক 3.5tn social investment package in the coming weeks.
House Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set a make-or-break vote on Thursday in the infrastructure bill, the day federal government funding was due to end.
Pelosi said over the weekend that he would not bring the infrastructure bill to the House floor until he was sure he had the vote to pass it – something that still looks uncertain Monday, as several progressive and moderate lawmakers raised issues with the legal package.
Progressives want assurances that the $ 3.5tn bill will not be watered down in the Senate, while moderates say massive social investment needs to be increased again.
But Biden set an exuberant tone at the White House on Monday, telling reporters he was a “born optimist.”
“I think things are going well, I think we’re going to get it done,” Biden said.
Asked what the “risk” was for his presidency in the congressional debate this week, the president replied: “Victory is at stake.”
In a Democrat-backed effort, Republicans voted three times during the Donald Trump administration to raise the debt limit.
This time around, however, the opposition, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has insisted that Democrats bypass Senate Philipbuster – which requires the support of at least 10 Republicans – to pass legislation and run alone before Friday at 12:01 p.m. To avoid shutdown.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said it would be a “disaster” for the United States to fail to lift the federal withdrawal limit. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, speculated last week that the U.S. government could lose its responsibilities in mid-October if the government does not increase its limits.
At an event hosted by the National Association for Business Economics, Federal Reserve Governor Leal Brennard called on lawmakers to work on Monday: “Congress knows what it needs to do. It needs to be further enhanced; It has responsibilities. ”
“The American people have done enough drama in the last two years,” he added.
Meanwhile, John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, warned on Monday that the US Federal Reserve would be unable to mitigate the impact of potential defaults on debt, as financial market losses could be massive.
Williams said the current market value of the US Treasury reflects a belief that “cooler heads” would exist and that it would be a “solution”, so it was not an “indicator of how big the risk is” in a potential debt ceiling crisis.
But Senate Republicans have yet to blink, arguing that there is no risk of disaster because Democrats can use the Senate method to raise the debt limit and fund the federal government on their own. Democrats currently control the upper house of Congress, 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast a tiebreaking vote.
Republicans are also trying to disrupt Biden’s legal program, more than a year before the mid-2022 election, when both the House and Senate will take control.
Additional reports from James Polity and Colby Smith in Washington