Once the government is funded, albeit temporarily, Democrats will turn their full attention to the need to raise the federal borrowing ceiling, which now stands at $ 28.4 trillion.
The United States has never defaulted on its debts in the modern age and historically both sides have voted to increase the limit. Democrats have joined the Republican majority in the Senate three times under President Donald Trump. This time, Democrats wanted to address both priorities in one bill, but Senate Republicans blocked that effort on Monday.
Increasing or suspending the debt limit allows the federal government to pay off obligations already incurred. It does not authorize new spending. McConnell argued that Democrats should adopt a debt limit extension with the same budget tools they use to try to push through a $ 3.5 trillion effort to expand social safety net programs and fight against climate change. He reiterated the warning when the Senate opened on Thursday, even as Democrats called the option “not launched.”
“We are able to finance the government today because the majority have accepted reality. The same will have to happen on the debt limit next week, ”McConnell said.
House Democrats passed a stand-alone bill on Wednesday night that would suspend the debt ceiling until December 2022. Schumer has said he will bring the measure to the Senate, but it is almost certain the bill will be blocked by a republican filibuster.