Congress moved to avoid a partial government shutdown
Islam News – Congress is averting a crisis while another one with the Senate poised to approve legislation that would fund the federal government is postponed until early December.
This measure is expected to be approved by the House after a Senate vote on Thursday, preventing a partial government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins on Friday.
Democrats were forced to cancel the suspension of the Federal Government’s borrowing cap on the bill at the insistence of Republicans. If the debt limit is not lifted by October 18, the country is likely to face a financial crisis and an economic depression, according to Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen.
Republicans say Democrats have the votes to raise the debt ceiling themselves, and Republican leader Mitch McConnell insists on doing so.
But the most urgent priority facing Congress is to keep the government in place once the current fiscal year ends at midnight Thursday. The expected approval of the bill will provide lawmakers with more time to draft spending bills that would finance federal agencies and the programs they run.
On the other hand, Democrats are struggling to reach the highest domestic priorities of President Joe Biden on the finish line. Those include a bipartisan infrastructure bill with $550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, broadband and other priorities, as well as a list of $3.5 trillion worth of social, health and environmental programes.
“With so many critical issues to address, the last thing the American people need right now is a government shutdown,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Schumer said the stopgap spending legislation will also provide aid for those reeling from Hurricane Ida and other natural disasters as well as funding to support Afghanistan evacuees from the 20-year war between the U.S. and the Taliban.
In recent hours, work to avoid a partial government shutdown has become almost routine, with legislators usually able to formulate a compromise. This time the funding bill has been slowed down by disagreement over allowing the Government to take on more debt so that it can continue to meet its financial obligations.
The U.S. has never defaulted on its debts in the modern era, and historically both parties have voted to raise the limit. Democrats joined the Republican Senate majority in doing so three times during Donald Trump’s presidency.
The U.S. has never defaulted on its debts in the modern era, and historically both parties have voted to raise the limit. Democrats joined the Republican Senate majority in doing so three times during Donald Trump’s presidency .
“There is no tradition of doing this on a bipartisan basis. Sometimes we have and sometimes we haven’t,” McConnell told reporters about past debt ceiling increases.
House Democrats complained about the steps they were being forced to take as they approved a standalone bill late Wednesday that would suspend the debt ceiling until December 2022. That bill now heads to the Senate, where it is almost certain to be blocked by a Republican filibuster.
But Republicans were undaunted. They argued that Democrats have chosen to ram through their political priorities on their own, and thus are responsible for raising the debt limit on their own.
McGovern said Republicans ballooned the debt under Trump and now are washing their hands of the consequences.
Treasury had taken steps to maintain cash, but once effective, it would be forced to rely on incoming income to pay its obligations. This would likely mean delays in payments to social security beneficiaries, veterans and government workers, including military personnel.
Source : AP News