Sep 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House passes government funding, debt ceiling bill

Pelosi speaks behind lectern

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to fund the government through early December, along with a measure to raise the debt ceiling through December 2022.

Why it matters: The stopgap measure, which needs to be passed to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires on Sept. 30, faces a difficult journey in the Senate where at least ten Republicans would need to vote in favor.

  • Republicans have already said they oppose including an extension of the debt ceiling in the government funding bill, also known as a continuing resolution.
  • Inaction by Congress on the debt ceiling means the U.S. would default on its debts by October, according to a warning issued by the Treasury Department.

What's next: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to oppose the measure, and it is expected that most members of his party will vote with him.

  • If the Senate votes it down, Democratic leadership must return to the drawing board, where they face a ticking clock toward a government shutdown.

What they're saying: While a vote on the debt ceiling increase has historically been bipartisan, Republicans are refusing to support it.

  • "The debt ceiling will be raised as it always has. But it will be raised by the Democrats," McConnell said at a press conference on Tuesday.
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday that Republicans are practicing “situational ethics.”
  • "It is a phony issue, an absolute phony demagoguery lending issue, which has really nothing to do with the debt of the United States," he said.

The details: The funding bill, also known as a continuing resolution, includes over $6 billion in additional funding dedicated to resettling Afghan evacuees and $28.6 billion allocated for disaster relief to address recent natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires.

  • It no longer includes $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome after a group of progressives told leadership they would not vote for the bill if such a measure was included, causing the funding to be removed entirely from the bill.
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