The US Senate on Thursday took a significant step to tackle one of several key issues, approving a stop-gap appropriation plan that would avoid a shutdown and ensure the government gets funded through December, while Discussion should be held on increasing and deferring the loan limit. A default-running.
The appropriations plan, which sets aside $28.6 billion in disaster relief and $6.3 billion for resettlement of Afghan refugees, was approved in the Senate; Hopefully it will quickly pass the House and be signed by President Joe Biden.
The federal government would close at 12:01 a.m. Friday if the funding was not approved, but the plan approved by the Senate on Wednesday would keep the government open until Dec. 3 once signed by Biden.
A shutdown would include furloughs for hundreds of thousands of rank-and-file federal employees, and disruption of services deemed non-essential from the approval of mortgage applications to operating national parks.
“With so many things to take care of here in Washington, the last thing the American people need is for the government to stop,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.) said Thursday.
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Another immediate concern for the federal government is raising the debt limit, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the US could default on its loans next month for the first time in the country’s history if action is not taken. Republicans refused to help Democrats raise the debt limit, arguing it would lead to excessive spending. Instead the GOP argues that Democrats should go about raising the debt limit on their own by tackling a $3.5 trillion budget package. Schumer said Democrats on Wednesday may or will not add a provision on raising the debt limit on the budget bill, triggering a standoff between Republicans and Democrats at the moment, while experts warn of economic devastation if the US defaults on its loans.
It’s a busy week in Washington as talks continue in the House on a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bill passed the Senate, with 19 Republicans joining Democrats in support, but progressive Democrats are threatening to derail the bill in the House. Progressives are seeking assurances from party leadership that Democrats will not cut a separate $3.5 trillion budget proposal, which would provide massive increases in funding for social and environmental programs and raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations. The budget bill has no Republican support, which is why Democrats use a conciliation process to try to pass the Senate, which requires only a simple majority instead of the 60 votes usually required. That means every Senate Democrat would have to vote in favor of the bill for it to pass, but two centrist Democrats—Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona—have suggested the budget is too large. Biden is Held Holds a meeting with the two as he tries to rally their support.
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