Senate Republicans Ready to Vote Against Funding Bill
Senate Republicans prepared to vote Monday against a House-passed government funding bill, virtually killing the measure, The Washington Post reported.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week said GOP lawmakers were not willing to vote for any legislation that raises or suspends the debt ceiling.
The Treasury Department has said the debt limit needs to be raised by mid-October or the U.S. economy could be disrupted.
The House voted to fund the government through Dec. 3 and suspend the nation's borrowing limit until the end of 2022.
"If they want to tax, borrow, and spend historic sums of money without our input, they’ll have to raise the debt limit without our help," McConnell said, the Post reported. "This is the reality. I’ve been saying this very clearly since July."
Democrats need at least 10 Republicans to support the measure to avoid a filibuster. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., was the only GOP lawmaker who said he likely will vote for it, citing disaster aid funding his state needs, NBC News reported.
The White House has warned that failure to pass the bill could cause severe financial calamity, the Post said.
Senate Democrats will have until Thursday at midnight to craft a plan to fund the government, or else key federal operations will be suspended or scaled back Friday morning.
The Post reported that Republicans said they were willing to support a funding stopgap that is entirely separate from the debt ceiling.
"There would be a lot of Republican votes for that," Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., predicted Sunday on CNN.
Democrats also have pledged to prevent a government shutdown. They want the bill to include billions of dollars in hurricane relief for the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, and money to help resettle Afghan refugees.
Republicans insist they do not want the U.S. government to default but say Democrats should shoulder the burden given their proposed increases in federal spending.
Frustrated Democrats say the debt can be attributed to both parties, and point to their working with Republicans under President Donald Trump to raise the debt ceiling even when the administration pursued policies they didn’t support, such as building a wall along the southern border.
The funding battle comes as Democrats forge ahead on their plans to adopt President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion spending bill.