The Senate is now taking a procedural vote on whether to advance a bill passed by the House to suspend the country’s debt limit and avoid a government shutdown.
Senate Republicans insisted Democrats act alone to tackle the debt ceiling and should block the measure. The Hill team will alert when the vote is final.
Government funding is set to expire on September 30, and the interim bill that the House approved last week would extend funding and keep government open until December 3. In addition, the measure includes a suspension of the debt ceiling until December 16, 2022. Time is running out to tackle the debt ceiling and Congress may only have until mid-October to deal with it. act before the federal government can no longer pay its bills.
The Senate votes on a procedural motion to advance legislation, which needs 60 votes to succeed. While a few Senate Republicans may ultimately vote in favor of the legislation, it is not expected that there will be 10 Senate Republican votes in favor, which would be necessary to reach the 60 vote threshold since Democrats are not in control. that 50 seats in the room.
If the measure fails to make headway in the Senate, as expected due to GOP opposition, it will leave Congress without a plan announced by Democratic leaders in both chambers on how they will keep the government in operation dangerously close to the date on which the funding will run out and a shutdown may be triggered.
Ahead of the now-unfolding Senate vote, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell attempted to introduce a clean stopgap bill to keep government open, which would not include the debt limit provision as alternative. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy opposed a request for unanimous consent to move the proposal forward.