The House Democrats enabled the government funding into early December voting on Tuesday night to suspend the federal debt limit and provide disaster and refugee aid, CNN reports.
H.R. 5305 that raised the $28 trillion debt ceiling was passed strictly in a party-line vote of 220-211, have set up a high-stakes showdown with Republicans who oppose the package and insist Democrats should to stave off the looming debt crisis alone.
The bill will need the support of at least 10 Republicans to pass in the Senate where it is likely to falter due to overwhelming GOP opposition to President Joe Biden’s agenda with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise underlining that the bill that Speaker Pelosi is bringing through will not become law.
Republicans also argued the bill would also facilitate Biden administration’s spending binge in the months ahead with Rep. Dan Meuser pointing he won’t support the most reckless expansion of government in generations.
If funding stops on Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, the federal government faces a shutdown on midnight next Thursday. It also risks defaulting at some point in October on its accumulated debt load if its borrowing limits are not waived or adjusted.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned about that wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed stressing it could lead the US to economic catastrophe.
After the House vote, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and fellow GOP Senator Richard Shelby introduced a bill to fund the government through Dec. 3, but without raising the debt limit.
Democrats will be forced to come up with a new strategy If Republicans stick by their refusal to support the bill in the Senate or quickly face partial shutdown of the government and the risk of a default for the first time in the US modern history.
Yet, it’s not yet clear what Democrats’ plan B would be in such scenario.
The only Republican who would “vote yes happily” for the bill, which includes $28.6 billion in natural disaster relief funds for states, is Sen. John Kennedy from Louisiana, which was recently ravaged by Hurricane Ida.
The measure, in addition, includes a debt limit suspension through December 16, 2022 and would also provide $6.3 billion to assist Afghanistan evacuees.