Senate Republicans block U.S. debt-limit hike as shutdown looms By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer attends a information convention on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photograph


By David Morgan and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Senate Republicans blocked an try on Tuesday by President Joe Biden’s Democrats to move off a doubtlessly crippling U.S. credit score default, elevating questions on whether or not partisan tensions will threaten the nation’s financial system.

With federal authorities funding attributable to expire on Thursday and borrowing authority set to expire on Oct. 18, Democrats who narrowly management the Senate and Home of Representatives are working to move off twin fiscal disasters whereas additionally attempting to advance Biden’s bold legislative agenda.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons informed Reuters {that a} invoice to keep away from a shutdown may advance in Congress on Wednesday. “I believe extra possible than not” that such a invoice will probably be on the Senate flooring, Coons mentioned, including: “It’ll come over from the Home.”

Republican Senate chief Mitch McConnell blocked Democrats on Tuesday from holding a vote that will have suspended the nation’s $28.4 trillion debt restrict. Senate Republicans a day earlier defeated laws that will have raised the debt restrict and prolonged authorities funding.

Lawmakers now have simply three days to avert a doable authorities shutdown by midnight Thursday, the tip of the present fiscal 12 months. Failure to take action may ends in furloughs for a whole bunch of 1000’s of federal staff in the course of a public well being disaster.

Fiscal brinkmanship has change into a daily characteristic of U.S. politics because of partisan polarization.

The latest authorities shutdown, which occurred throughout Republican Donald Trump’s presidency, lasted 35 days earlier than ending in January 2019.

Coming forward of subsequent 12 months’s congressional elections, a authorities shutdown or a default can be a setback for Democrats, who’ve portrayed themselves because the get together of accountable authorities after Trump’s chaotic presidency.


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed lawmakers the federal government would run out of choices to service the debt by Oct. 18. Republicans have refused to cooperate to lift the debt restrict, saying they don’t need to assist Democrats spend more cash. Democrats level out that a lot of the nation’s debt was incurred below Trump.

The nation’s largest lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:), has begun situation planning for the way a possible U.S. credit score default would have an effect on its operations, Chief Govt Jamie Dimon informed Reuters on Tuesday.

“That is just like the third time we have had to do that. It’s a doubtlessly catastrophic occasion,” Dimon mentioned. “We must always by no means even get this shut.”

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer proposed holding a vote to lift the debt restrict that might cross with simply the assist of the chamber’s 48 Democrats and the 2 independents allied with them so long as Republicans agreed to permit the vote to happen.

“If Republicans actually need to see the debt restrict raised with out offering a single vote, I am ready to carry that vote,” Schumer mentioned on the Senate flooring.

However McConnell blocked the vote, saying Democrats ought to cross the debt-ceiling measure below particular guidelines referred to as reconciliation that will enable it to clear the Senate with out Republican assist.

Schumer dominated out utilizing the reconciliation path for the debt ceiling, calling the strategy a “non-starter.”

However McConnell insisted the duty for the debt ceiling was Schumer’s and never his personal. “His duty is to lift the debt ceiling,” McConnell mentioned. “He has the duty. And belief me, he’ll do it.”


Democrats are additionally struggling to unite behind two pillars of Biden’s home coverage agenda: a $1 trillion infrastructure invoice and a $3.5 trillion social spending bundle.

Democratic lawmakers are nonetheless negotiating the dimensions and content material of the bigger measure. It may take a number of weeks to cross Congress and attain Biden’s desk, dangerously near the debt-limit deadline.

The Democrats initially deliberate to deal with the social spending invoice, championed by the get together’s left wing, in tandem with the infrastructure bundle, which has drawn bipartisan assist. However they’ve scheduled a Home vote on the infrastructure invoice on Thursday though the social-spending invoice remains to be being negotiated.

Lawmakers on the get together’s left insisted that Congress should first cross the social spending invoice.

“We articulated this place greater than three months in the past, and at the moment it’s nonetheless unchanged,” Consultant Pramila Jayapal, chief of the Congressional Progressive (NYSE:) Caucus, mentioned in a press release.

Senate Finances Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, a robust voice amongst left-leaning lawmakers, urged his Home allies to oppose the infrastructure invoice on Thursday, writing on Twitter (NYSE:) that its passage would finish their leverage to maneuver ahead on the bigger reconciliation bundle.

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