The House and Senate both passed a short-term spending bill today that will fund the government into early December, staving off a government shutdown.
The Senate took the first steps this afternoon by passing a stopgap bill that sustains federal spending until Dec. 3 while providing billions of dollars for hurricane relief and to assist Afghan refugees. The bill does not address the debt ceiling, which GOP lawmakers have insisted Democrats advance on their own through reconciliation.
Several Republican amendments to the bill were voted down, including one that would have nixed Real ID eligibility for Afghan refugees coming to settle in the U.S., and another that would have prohibited the government from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate on private employers. President Biden earlier this month ordered businesses with more than 100 employees to require their workers to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) got unanimous consent last night to allow the House to immediately take up the Senate-passed bill this afternoon. The House passed the bill in a 254-175 vote late this afternoon.
“It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date,” Yellen said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Yellen warned Congress again today of the catastrophic implications of a default on the national debt.
“Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security payments or receive them delayed,” Yellen said. “Our troops would not know when they would get their next paycheck. We have 30 million families who rely on the monthly child tax credits and they would not receive that relief, at least not on time.”
House Democrats passed a stand-alone bill last night to suspend the debt ceiling but that was mostly a messaging vote that is expected to fail in the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Republicans have been very clear all summer that they won’t vote to bankroll excessive spending on Democratic priorities. McConnell continued to insist that Democrats could address the debt ceiling through reconciliation, sidestepping the need for Republican votes.
“I’ve explained since July that Democrats need to begin the fast-track process for handling that issue through reconciliation,” McConnell said today. “Clumsy attempts at partisan jams by the majority will not change that reality. It didn’t work on government funding and it won’t work on the debt limit. They will just be wasting valuable time.”