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POLITICAL NEWS

Funding Bill

Senate Republicans block funding bill as Congress scrambles to avoid government shutdown


Story by Bart Jansen

Story   Source

Published on September 29, 2021 6:48 AM
 
But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Democrats should separate the government funding extension from the debt limit – and then raise the debt limit themselves. Democrats must now find another way to keep the government operating and the country borrowing. Without a funding extension, the federal government will shut down Friday. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen projected the country will reach its limit on borrowing in mid-October.
 
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans blocked debate Monday on extending funding for the federal government and raising the debt limit, forcing Democratic leaders to scramble to avoid a government shutdown and default.

The Senate voted 48-50 to begin debate on the measure the House already passed, which wasn't enough to overcome a Republican filibuster. The bill would have extended government funding to Dec. 3 and suspended the debt limit until Dec. 16, 2022. The measure also would have provided $28.6 billion for disaster assistance and $6.3 billion for Afghan refugees.

But 60 votes were needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Republicans have insisted that Democrats deal with the debt limit on their own to avoid supporting the broader taxing and spending priorities of Democrats. But Democrats argue both parties should support raising the debt limit, as happened three times during the Trump administration, because a default could spark a worldwide economic crisis.

"It's an unhinged position to take," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "There is no scenario in God's green earth where it should be worth risking millions of jobs, trillions in household wealth, people's Social Security checks, veterans' benefits and another recession just to score short-term, meaningless ..