Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Democrats will be introducing a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through early December and the Senate could take action on it “as early as today.”
Schumer said the Senate “can approve this measure quickly, and send it to the House so it can reach the President’s desk before funding expires midnight tomorrow.”
The CR includes emergency disaster relief and money for Afghan refugees, he said. Senate Republicans have said they would support a clean stop-gap funding bill that does not include a debt limit provision, which has now been stripped out.
“The Senate could take action as early as today to address a concern that demands the immediate attention of this chamber: funding the federal government beyond September 30,” Schumer said in a floor speech. “To prevent a government shutdown Senate Democrats will be introducing a continuing resolution that keeps the government open until early December, while also providing long sought emergency funding to help Americans still reeling from natural disasters from this summer, as well as funding to help resettle Afghan refugees.”
Schumer said once they fund the government, Congress still needs to “address the urgent matter of extending the debt ceiling.”
He said Democrats are working to find a solution to avoid a default, but “Republicans have stymied us at every opportunity.”
He repeated his strong criticism of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP for opposing helping Democrats raise the debt ceiling.
“If we never did debt ceiling if we always let the debt ceiling lapse because one party or the other didn’t like some future action that the other party would take, we’d never do it. It’s an absurd argument,” Schumer argued.
He continued to say that Democrats have “offered Republicans multiple entirely reasonable ways to get out of the mess they’ve created. But instead of stepping aside and letting the responsible party address the debt limit, Republicans have chosen to actively obstruct… We’re just asking for Republicans to get out of the way. Get out of the way and let us do what they say they wanted us to do: raise the debt ceiling without their votes. Time is short. The danger is real.”
Democrats do have the option to raise the debt limit on their using budget reconciliation, but many Democrats have argued that the vote should be a bipartisan shared responsibility, and Schumer reiterated he believes going that route is too “risky” and could lead the country to default.