sunny.png
Sunday October 24th, 2021 12:43PM

Congress passes bill to avert partial government shutdown

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — With only hours to spare, Congress passed legislation that would avoid a partial federal shutdown and keep the government funded through Dec. 3, and sent the bill to President Joe Biden.

The back-to-back votes by the Senate and then the House will help avert one crisis, but delays another as the political parties dig in on a dispute over how to raise the government's borrowing cap before the United States risks a potentially catastrophic default.

The House approved the short-term funding measure by a 254-175 vote not long after Senate passage in a 65-35 vote. A large majority of Republicans in both chambers voted against it. The legislation was needed to keep the government running once the current budget year ended at midnight Thursday. Passage will buy lawmakers more time to craft the spending measures that will fund federal agencies and the programs they administer.

The work to keep the government open and running served as the backdrop during a chaotic day for Democrats as they struggled to get Biden’s top domestic priorities over the finish line, including a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill at risk of stalling in the House.

“It is a glimmer of hope as we go through many, many other activities," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

With their energy focused on Biden's agenda, Democrats backed down from a showdown over the debt limit in the government funding bill, deciding to uncouple the borrowing ceiling at the insistence of Republicans. If that cap is not raised by Oct. 18, the U.S. probably will face a financial crisis and economic recession, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

Republicans say Democrats have the votes to raise the debt limit on their own, and Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is insisting they do so.

The short-term spending legislation will also provide about $28.6 billion in disaster relief for those recovering from Hurricane Ida and other natural disasters. Some $10 billion of that money will help farmers cover crop losses from drought, wildfires and hurricanes. An additional $6.3 billion will help support the resettlement of Afghanistan evacuees from the 20-year war between the U.S. and the Taliban.

“This is a good outcome, one I’m happy we are getting done,” Schumer said. “With so many things to take care of in Washington, the last thing the American people need is for the government to grind to a halt.”

Once the government is funded, albeit temporarily, Democrats will turn their full attention to the need to raise the limit on federal borrowing, which now stands at $28.4 trillion.

The U.S. has never defaulted on its debts in the modern era and historically, both parties have voted to raise the limit. Democrats joined the Republican Senate majority in doing so three times during Donald Trump’s presidency. This time Democrats wanted to take care of both priorities in one bill, but Senate Republicans blocked that effort Monday.

Raising or suspending the debt limit allows the federal government to pay obligations already incurred. It does not authorize new spending. McConnell has argued that Democrats should pass a debt limit extension with the same budgetary tools they are using to try to pass a $3.5 trillion effort to expand social safety net programs and tackle climate change. He reiterated that warning as the Senate opened on Thursday, even as Democrats have labeled that option a “nonstarter."

“We’re able to fund the government today because the majority accepted reality. The same thing will need to happen on the debt limit next week," McConnell said.

House Democrats pushed through a stand-alone bill late Wednesday that would suspend the debt limit until December 2022. Schumer said he would bring the measure to the Senate floor, but the bill is almost certain to be blocked by a Republican filibuster.

The arguments made in both chambers about the debt ceiling have followed similar themes.

“You are more interested in punishing Democrats than preserving our credit and that is something I’m having a real tough time getting my head around,” House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., told Republicans. “The idea of not paying bills just because we don’t like (Biden’s) policies is the wrong way to go.”

Undaunted, Republicans argued that Democrats have chosen to ram through their political priorities on their own and thus are responsible for raising the debt limit on their own.

“So long as the Democratic majority continues to insist on spending money hand over fist, Republicans will refuse to help them lift the debt ceiling," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.

The Treasury has taken steps to preserve cash, but once it runs out, it will be forced to rely on incoming revenue to pay its obligations. That would likely mean delays in payments to Social Security recipients, veterans and government workers, including military personnel. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank, projects that the federal government would be unable to meet about 40% of payments due in the several weeks that follow.

___

Associated Press writer Brian Slodysko contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
New Biden rules would limit arrest, deportation of migrants
The Biden administration on Thursday announced new rules that require authorities to only pursue migrants who recently crossed into the country without permission or are deemed to pose a threat to public safety
3:56PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Biden plan at stake, Pelosi pushes ahead for $3.5T deal
With President Joe Biden’s government overhaul agenda at stake, Democrats are confronting high-stakes trouble
3:54PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Congress passes bill to avert partial government shutdown
With only hours to spare, Congress passed legislation that would avoid a partial federal shutdown and keep the government funded through Dec. 3
3:48PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Big drop in US teen vaping seen with COVID school closures
Government researchers reported a big drop in teen vaping this year as many U.S. students stayed home from school during the pandemic
3:19PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Military suicides rise 15% as senior leaders call for action
The number of military suicides jumped by 15% in 2020, fueled by significant increases in the Army and Marine Corps that senior leaders said were troubling and require more effort to prevent
3:10PM ( 50 minutes ago )
California man gets life sentence for fatal synagogue attack
A 22-year-old former nursing student has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for bursting into a Southern California synagogue with a semiautomatic rifle on the last day of Passover in 2019, killing one worshipper and wounding three others
3:05PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP National News
Powell sees inflation cooling, evading 'difficult situation'
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday that current high levels of inflation are likely to fade next year and won’t prevent the Fed from pushing toward its goal of full employment
1:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
Why climate change is making it harder to chase fall foliage
Recent leaf-peeping seasons have been disrupted by weather conditions in New England, New York and elsewhere
1:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Attorney: Removal of Spears' father is 'a loss for Britney'
An attorney for Britney Spears' father says his removal from control of her court conservatorship is “a loss for Britney.”
1:05PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Stock indexes are mixed as S&P 500 heads for September loss
Major stock indexes on Wall Street were mixed in afternoon trading Thursday and headed for steep monthly losses
3:07PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Union jobs? Ford's plan for new EV factories raises question
Ford’s blockbuster announcement this week that it would build four vast new factories in Kentucky and Tennessee by 2025 and hire nearly 11,000 workers raised a big unanswered question: Just how good will those jobs be
2:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Gov. Noem cuts ties with former Trump adviser Lewandowski
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is cutting ties with political adviser Corey Lewandowski after the longtime confidant to former President Donald Trump was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a GOP donor
2:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
2 women in Japan party leadership race get mixed reactions
The two women in the Japanese governing party’s four-way leadership race was a step forward for gender equality
9:44AM ( 6 hours ago )
Congress moves to avert partial government shutdown
Congress is moving to avert one crisis while putting off another
5:22AM ( 10 hours ago )
World shares mostly higher after US averts shutdown
European shares and U.S. futures have climbed after U.S. lawmakers moved to avert a government shutdown
4:46AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Romania daily cases soar amid low vaccinations
Romania recorded 12,032 coronavirus cases, its highest daily infections since the start of the pandemic
1:23PM ( 2 hours ago )
More than a statue: Cooper explores the Vanderbilt legacy
After years of avoiding it personally, CNN's Anderson Cooper explores in a book the complicated legacy of the Vanderbilt family — what he calls America's version of “The Crown."
1:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
Dubai opens Expo 2020 to a world still reeling from pandemic
Dubai is opening Expo 2020 in an extravagant ceremony that was delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic
12:41PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
US unemployment claims rise third straight week to 362,000
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose for the third straight week, a sign that the highly contagious delta variant may be slowing the job market’s recovery
9:10AM ( 6 hours ago )
UK 'no longer the laggard' of G-7 economies after upgrades
The British economy is no longer the worst performing Group of Seven economy after second quarter growth was revised higher
9:05AM ( 6 hours ago )
Shortages, shipping, shutdowns hit Asian factory output
Shortages of power, computer chips and other parts, soaring shipping costs and shutdowns of factories to battle the pandemic are taking a toll on Asian economies
8:14AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
S&P 500 clings to a modest gain as other indexes end mixed
Stocks ended a wobbly day with mixed results on Wall Street Wednesday as the market regrouped following a sharp drop a day earlier
5:06PM ( 22 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Why coffee could cost more at groceries, cafes
After hovering for years at lows sometimes near $1 per pound, coffee futures — the price large buyers agree to pay upon delivery months down the road — are now around $1.90 per pound
4:25PM ( 23 hours ago )
Stocks climb back a day after a rout led by the tech sector
Stocks rose on Wall Street Wednesday as the market regains its footing following a sharp drop a day earlier
3:45PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Biden plan at stake, Pelosi pushes ahead for $3.5T deal
With President Joe Biden’s government overhaul agenda at stake, Democrats are confronting high-stakes trouble
3:54PM ( 6 minutes ago )
After 15 years in prison, man cleared in deaths of 5 kids
Murder charges have been dismissed against a man who spent 15 years in prison for the fire-related deaths of five children in suburban Detroit
3:47PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Tour of Wisconsin Army post reveals thankful, bored Afghans
Reporters have been given a glimpse of life on a Wisconsin Army post for newly arrived Afghan refugees
3:46PM ( 14 minutes ago )
School board group asks US for help policing threats
The nation's school boards are asking President Joe Biden for federal assistance to investigate and stop a growing number of threats made against their members
3:38PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Boy Scouts bankruptcy plan set for vote by abuse claimants
Tens of thousands of men who say they were molested as children by scoutmasters and others will soon get a chance to vote on the Boy Scouts of America's reorganization plan
3:37PM ( 24 minutes ago )