House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Democrats this week will combine a short-term government funding bill with a measure to suspend the U.S. debt limit in a bid to avoid a government shutdown.
In a joint statement on Monday, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the “American people expect our Republican colleagues to live up to their responsibilities and make good on the debts they proudly helped incur in the December 2020 ‘908’ COVID package that helped American families and small businesses reeling from the COVID crisis.”
Their statement said that Democrats will try to push the bill ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government.
“Both Republicans and Democrats have priorities they want to see addressed in the regular order appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2022, and an extension of government funding through December will provide an appropriate amount of time for that bipartisan, bicameral process to come to completion,” they said.
Republicans in Congress have signaled opposition to a number of Democrat-backed spending packages, including a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that Democrats must raise the debt ceiling themselves, while other Republicans have echoed his statements to the press.
GOP members of Congress have said that by raising the debt limit, Democrats would then use the funds to pay for massive spending packages, including the $3.5 trillion measure.
McConnell spokesman Doug Andres said on Sept. 16 that the Senate Republican leader in a telephone conversation a day earlier “repeated to Secretary Yellen what he has said publicly since July: This is a unified Democrat government, engaging in a partisan reckless tax and spending spree. They will have to raise the debt ceiling on their own and they have the tools to do it.”
It comes after the Biden administration, in a letter to governors, warned that the debt ceiling limit may be surpassed and potentially cause an economic recession.