Government shutdown likely as Republicans fight against suspending the national debt

Senate building.
Senate building. Photo credit GettyImages

On Monday, the Senate will vote on legislation to continue funding the government and avoid a default on debt. However, reports say a Republican-led filibuster will likely block the legislation.

The October deadline is at threat of not being met as Republicans do not support the increase of the debt limit included in the bill, NBC News reported.

The legislation was passed by the House on Wednesday, as it would keep the government running through the end of the year, suspending the debt ceiling through the end of the year.

When it comes to the bill's contents, the Republicans mostly support the bill, but Democrats will still need at least 10 Republican votes to meet the 60-vote threshold. So Republicans will pass the debt ceiling increase, but only on a partisan basis.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schummer shared that suspending the debt limit is meant to help the government meet obligations it has already agreed to, like the $908 billion stimulus bill passed last December.

Top Democrats argue that the debt ceiling has historically always been raised while working on a bipartisan basis. They also say they will not allow Republicans to stop that.

Republicans are looking to get Democrats to look at the debt ceiling in a different, filibuster-proof package because it would require endorsing a dollar figure of how much the U.S. can borrow. Reports say the number could reach $30 trillion or more.

The chairman of the GOP Senate campaign arm, Sen. Rick Scott, shared that he intends to use the debt ceiling as an issue in the 2022 midterm elections if Democrats lift it, NBC reported.

"They're going to get held accountable for it," the Florida Republican said.

The bill, passed in the House by all Democrats and no Republicans, would extend federal funding through Dec. 3, preventing an end-of-month government shutdown. This would then give lawmakers nine weeks to approve a full-year budget.

"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 stimulus] package that helped American families and small businesses reeling from the Covid crisis," Pelosi and Schumer said Tuesday, Forbes reported.

The current debt amount is at $29 trillion, with the federal government seeing an increase of less than $20 trillion just five years ago.

To stop the shutdown, Senate Democrats will need to get 10 votes from Republicans by the end of September to keep the government running.

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