Senate GOP torpedo U.S. government funding bill, increasing risk of federal budget crises
WASHINGTON – Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Monday blocked an attempt by Democrats to start debate on a sweeping bill that would avert multiple looming budget crises for the federal government.
The measure to briefly keep the government beyond the end of the fiscal year on Thursday, as well as to increase the borrowing limit and approve billions in aid to regions hit by extreme weather conditions, has failed on a vote of 48-50.
All Democrats supported the measure and all Republicans opposed it, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) passing his vote ‘no’ so the measure could be brought up later for a another vote.
As of Monday night, it was not yet clear how Congressional Democrats would proceed to tackle the major and pressing issues on their plates.
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After the vote, Schumer only said they would take “other measures” this week.
The vote was expected to fail, after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Said for weeks that GOP senators would oppose raising the debt ceiling at a time when Democrats are also seeking to push through a massive social spending plan without the support of Republicans. .
The deadlock sets up a dangerous scenario: If the Democratic-controlled Houses of Congress cannot pass a short-term spending bill by midnight Thursday, the federal government would start shutting down. This means suspending non-essential government services and reducing those that must continue.
And without Congressional action to increase the amount of money the federal government can borrow – a necessary step due to years of debt accumulation – the country could risk defaulting on its debts.
“Tonight all Senate Republicans voted to shut down government and tear up all America’s faith and credit – for politics,” said Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. said on twitter after the vote. “Instead of working in a bipartisan fashion, (McConnell) is demolishing another standard and putting our country’s economy at risk.”
After the failed vote, Schumer blamed GOP senators for the looming uncertainty, accusing them of “playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States.”
âThe Republican Party has solidified itself as the default party, and the American people will pay the price,â Schumer said.
Republicans have also pointed the finger at Democrats, who barely control the 50-50 split chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to break the tie.
McConnell argued for the vote on an identical measure that would leave out raising the debt ceiling, saying his party would not help raise the debt ceiling as Democrats “write tax frenzy and reckless spending of historic proportions, “a reference to the $ 3.5 trillion. social spending bill that is at the heart of President Joe Biden’s political agenda.
The two Louisiana senators, Republicans Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, opposed the passage of the Democratic bill and spoke in favor of removing the debt ceiling hike, highlighting the storms that have made devastation in their state and the need to move forward in areas where it is agreed.
âIt’s stupid for us to have this fight when it can be so easily resolved,â Kennedy said, calling for the increased debt ceiling to be added to the budget resolution. âNature hates morons. “