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Senate Republicans Block Government Funding, Debt Ceiling Bill

Senate Republicans blocked a government spending and debt ceiling bill Monday, setting up a dramatic showdown between Republicans and Democrats on whether Congress should raise the debt ceiling while Democrats plan to spend trillions on infrastructure and social spending.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture, 48-50, on H.R. 5305, the continuing resolution (CR). Senate Republicans blocked the CR as House Democrats remain poised to vote on the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

Democrats, rather than put the debt ceiling increase in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, decided that they would pack the debt ceiling increase in the government funding bill.

The Democrats’ CR would lift the debt ceiling through the 2022 midterm elections and fund the government through December.

The federal government will run out of funding on September 30, and the debt ceiling must be lifted in early October.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who voted no, said in a statement after the vote:

Democrats are in control of the executive and legislative branches of government. As they demonstrated in passing massive spending bills on a purely partisan basis, they are fully capable of increasing the debt ceiling without Republican votes. I drafted a letter that 46 Republican senators signed in early August giving Democrats fair warning that they would not receive Republican help in raising the debt ceiling to accommodate their partisan deficit spending. Inflation is wiping out wage gains, deficit spending is mortgaging our children’s future, and Democrats need to take responsibility and be held accountable for adding trillions of dollars more to our national debt.

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), who voted against the CR, said in a statement after the vote:

Instead of working on clean, bipartisan legislation to fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown, Democrats forced a vote on a bill that ties government funding to a two-year suspension of the debt limit that will enable Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reckless tax-and-spend bill. A vote to raise the debt limit is a vote to co-sign on the Democrats’ partisan and unprecedented spending spree.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that if Republicans block the CR, they will carry the blame.

“If Republicans follow through with their plans to vote no, they will be on record to deliberately sabotaging our country’s ability to pay the bills & likely causing first-ever default in American history,” Schumer said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.

He added, “After today there will be no doubt about which party in this chamber is working to solve the problems that face our country, and which party is accelerating us towards unnecessary, avoidable disaster.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said ahead of the vote that Republicans would support a government funding bill as long as it does not raise the debt ceiling.

“Let me make it abundantly clear one more time: We will support a clean continuing resolution that will prevent a government shutdown … We will not provide Republican votes for raising the debt limit,” McConnell said.
“Republicans are not rooting for a shutdown or a debt limit breach,” he added.

Story cited here.

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