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Democrats release debt ceiling bill that funds government through Dec. 3

The Hill
The Hill
 2021-09-21
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House Democrats unveiled legislation on Tuesday that would keep the federal government funded through Dec. 3 and suspend the debt limit into next year as the deadlines to avert both crises loom in a matter of days.

The bill is expected to hit the House floor for a vote later Tuesday.

Republicans have been adamant that they won’t back a debt limit suspension as a form of protest against Democrats’ $3.5 trillion bill to expand social safety net programs.

While the bill tying a suspension of the debt limit through December 2022 to avoiding a government shutdown is expected to easily pass the House, it appears to lack the votes in the Senate where at least 10 Republicans would have to join with all Democrats for it to pass.

The bill also includes $28.6 billion to address recent natural disasters, including for Hurricane Ida, which recently ravaged the South and the East Coast. That may draw the support of some Republicans who want to ensure that disaster aid arrives to their districts in a timely fashion, but likely won’t draw a majority of the GOP.

Another $6.3 billion in the bill would provide funding to temporarily provide shelter for Afghan refugees at U.S. facilities and in foreign countries, as well as for resettlement efforts.

The temporary stopgap bill to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1 would mean that lawmakers will be haggling over long-term spending close to the end of the year, using the December holidays as a way to pressure themselves to make a deal in a timely fashion.

“By extending funding through December 3, this legislation will allow Congress to negotiate full-year government funding bills that make historic and transformative investments to benefit working families. As we take that step today, providing help for people in desperate need is a moral imperative,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said in a statement.

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