Senate GOP Votes Down Bill to Fund Government and Raise Debt Ceiling
By Alayna Treene | Axios.com
Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.
Why it matters: Congress is just 72 hours away from a potential shutdown, so now comes Democrats’ Plan B. Democratic leadership is expected strip the short-term funding bill of language about raising the debt limit — the part that Republicans’ reject — in order to pass a bill before federal agencies close down on Friday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he will vote for the “clean” continuing resolution if Democrats’ move forward with that plan.
This bill is the top priority in Congress right now, despite also trying to get President Biden’s dual infrastructure bills across the finish line by the end of this week.
The final vote was 48-50, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) changing his vote from Yes to No so he could later bring the bill back up for a vote. All Republicans voted against the bill as expected.
Between the lines: Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have made clear a government shutdown is not an option, so they’ll get this done.
The bigger question now is how they’re going to deal with raising the debt limit now that a continuing resolution is no longer an option.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the government will default on its debt sometime next month, and said doing so would “likely cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets.”
Given Republicans’ refusal to vote for any legislation that would raise the debt ceiling, Democrats, namely leadership, will likely have to do what they’ve spent the last month vowing they wouldn’t: deal with raising the debt limit through the partisan reconciliation process.
The Senate will hold a futile vote Monday night — just 72 hours before a potential shutdown — on a House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.
Why it matters: The bill is going to fail. Period. But then comes Plan B: A “clean” continuing resolution — stripped of language about raising the debt limit — that Democrats spent the past week preparing, Axios is told.
This week is critical to determining the fate of President Biden’s climate agenda.
Driving the news: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last night pledged a vote on bipartisan infrastructure legislation Thursday, rather than today as initially hoped.