Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dared Republicans to block a critical debt limit and government spending bill that is up for a vote late Monday afternoon.
“There is no scenario in God's green Earth where it should be worth risking millions of jobs, trillions in household wealth, people's social security checks, veterans benefits, and another recession, just to score short-term meaningless political points,” the New York Democrat warned in a Senate Floor speech on Monday. “That's what Republicans seem fixated on doing.”
Senate Republicans said they would not provide the votes needed to advance legislation to raise the debt ceiling and provide temporary federal funding.
Republicans want Democrats to de-link the two spending measures because they staunchly oppose raising the debt limit while Democrats plot to pass up to $3.5 trillion in new spending on social welfare programs that the GOP opposes.
“There is no chance Republicans will help lift Democrats’ credit limit so they can immediately steamroll through a socialist binge that will hurt families and help China,” the Kentucky Republican said.
Democrats refuse to back down, engaging in a fiscal standoff with the GOP — calculating Republicans will be hurt politically by pushing the nation over a fiscal cliff.
The fiscal year ends on Thursday, and unless Congress passes stopgap spending, a partial government shutdown will occur.
Congress must also act to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned House and Senate leaders the nation would run out of money to pay back loans sometime in October unless the debt limit is addressed.
“Republicans must now step up to the plate,” Schumer said. “To do otherwise is the height of recklessness irresponsibility. Republicans say they don't want to see a government shutdown. They say they don't want to see our government default on our debt. Then they should vote yes. It's plain and simple.”
The Democratic-led House passed a bill last week that would extend government funding until Dec. 3 and suspend the debt limit until December 2022.
However, the Senate cannot pass most legislation with a simple majority, so Democrats need at least 10 Republicans to advance legislation.
They are not likely to get it on Monday when the House measure comes up for a vote.
Republicans are calling on Democrats to raise the debt limit by including it in the massive social welfare spending package they plan to pass with just 51 votes using a special budgetary tactic.
On the Senate floor Monday, McConnell said he would introduce a measure that extends government funding without suspending the debt limit.
The measure will also include emergency spending for states hit hard by summer storms and wildfires, as well as funding for Afghan refugees.
“We'll see if Washington Democrats actually want to govern, or whether they want to add the prospect of a government shutdown to the list of inflation, Afghanistan, the border, and all the other national crises that are the direct result of their own decisions,” McConnell said.
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Original Author: Susan Ferrechio
Original Location: Schumer dares 'unhinged' GOP to block debt limit bill up for Monday vote