House Democrats on Tuesday were planning a vote on legislation to avert a partial government shutdown and raise the U.S. debt ceiling, as Republicans say they won’t help raise the borrowing limit.
With federal operations now funded through Sept. 30, the Democrats’ bill would keep the government running through Dec. 3. At the same time, it would extend the debt limit through Dec. 16, 2022.
The bill is expected to clear the House. But it would need the support of at least 10 Republicans in the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his party won’t support legislation that raises the borrowing limit. The Kentucky Republican argues that since Democrats are pursuing a massive spending bill without GOP support, President Joe Biden’s party should go it alone on the debt limit as well.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the government won’t have enough money to pay all its bills sometime in October, absent an increase in the debt limit.
And without funding past Sept. 30, federal workers would be furloughed; national parks could close; and tax refunds and economic data could be delayed.
It’s possible lawmakers could later vote on a measure stripping out the debt-limit provision, which would gain Republican support.
The bill unveiled Tuesday also contains $28.6 billion for natural disasters including Hurricane Ida, and $6.3 billion for Afghan refugee resettlement.