The Senate is now taking a procedural vote on whether to advance a House-passed bill to suspend the nation’s debt limit and avert a government shutdown.
Senate Republicans have insisted that Democrats should act alone to address the debt limit and are expected to block the measure. The Hill team will alert when the vote is final.
Government funding is set to expire on Sept. 30, and the stopgap bill the House approved last week would extend funding and keep the government open through Dec. 3. In addition, the measure includes a debt limit suspension through Dec. 16, 2022. The clock is ticking to address the debt limit and Congress may only have until mid-October to act before the federal government can no longer pay its bills.
The Senate is voting on a procedural motion to advance the legislation, which needs 60 votes to succeed. While a few Senate Republicans may ultimately vote in support of the legislation, it is not expected there will be 10 Senate Republican votes in favor, which would be needed to reach the 60-vote threshold since Democrats only control 50 seats in the chamber.
If the measure fails to advance in the Senate, as anticipated due to GOP opposition, it will leave Congress without a plan announced by Democratic leadership in both chambers about how they will keep the government operating perilously close to the date when funding will run dry and a shutdown could be triggered.
Prior to the Senate vote happening now, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell attempted to bring up a clean stop-gap bill to keep the government open that would not include the debt limit provision as an alternative. Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Patrick Leahy objected to an unanimous consent request to advance that proposal.