Time is running out with government funding set to expire on Thursday, but Schumer said the Senate “can approve this measure quickly and send it to the House so it can reach the president’s office before funding expires tomorrow. at midnight”. The House should take action after the Senate acts.
Republicans have said they will support a “clean” interim financing bill that does not include a debt limit provision, arguing that Democrats must settle the debt limit on their own without the votes of the government. GOP. Democrats backed down, saying limiting debt is a shared bipartisan responsibility.
Faced with GOP opposition to the combination of the two issues, Congress now appears poised to pass a “clean” funding bill without the debt limit attached. Schumer said on Wednesday that once they funded the government, Congress still had to “grapple with the urgent issue of extending the debt ceiling.”
He said Democrats were struggling to find a solution to avoid default, but “Republicans have blocked us at every opportunity.”
It’s still unclear exactly when the Senate will vote on the interim bill to keep government open – and when it will travel to the House for a vote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that she did not believe the government would close on Thursday night and that the House would pass an interim bill to fund the government.
“No, I don’t think so,” the California Democrat said when asked if she thought the government would shut down Thursday night.
“I think we will have a big vote tomorrow,” added the speaker.
In his ground remarks, Schumer reiterated his strong criticism of Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP for opposing helping Democrats raise the debt ceiling. “If we always let the debt ceiling expire because one party or the other didn’t like some future action the other party would take, we would never do it. That’s an absurd argument,” said Schumer.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the federal government would likely be strapped for cash and extraordinary measures by October 18, leaving Congress little time to act to avoid what would likely be a default. catastrophic payment.
Democrats have the option of raising the debt limit on their own using a process known as budget reconciliation, but Schumer argued that this path was too risky.
Schumer reiterated his warning on Wednesday that embarking on the path of reconciliation is “very risky” and “may well lead us to default.” With Republicans firmly opposed to helping Democrats in any way suspend the debt ceiling, it casts doubt on how Congress will approach the looming crisis in the coming weeks before the United States does. default on their debt.
“In solving this crisis, this body cannot and will not go through an unpredictable long-term process sought by the minority leader. It risks the full confidence and credit of the United States,” he said. . “To do this through reconciliation requires ping-ponging separate Senate and House bills. This is uncharted territory. Individual senators could delay, delay and delay. It is very risky. and could well lead us to default. “
Still, Republicans say the budget process for Democrats to raise the debt ceiling would only take one to two weeks.
For now, both sides are waiting to see if the other blinks as the political struggle intensifies and the stakes rise.
This story and title was updated with additional developments on Wednesday.
CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.