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Schumer sets U.S. debt ceiling vote for Wednesday as tensions rise By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – The U.S. Capitol Building on Capitol Hill seen at sunset, Washington, U.S.A, September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The Senate will vote Wednesday on a Democratic-backed measure suspending the U.S. Debt Ceiling, a key lawmaker stated Tuesday. This is because partisan brinkmanship within Congress could lead to an economically crippling default on federal credit.

Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader said that the senators would vote procedurally on the bill. Republicans opposed it. The procedure will suspend the borrowing limit until 2022. Janet Yellen from the Treasury Department has informed lawmakers that the government’s borrowing capacities will run out by October 18 if Congress doesn’t take action.

Schumer spoke on the Senate’s floor: “We can fix the debt ceiling crisis within the week, and we can reassure the entire world that America’s full faith in and credit will not be compromised.”

The Democrats who are President Joe Biden’s co-defendants control only one chamber of Congress. Last week, the House of Representatives approved the debt ceiling legislation. It needs 60 votes in order to be passed by the 100-seat Senate.

Biden’s ambitious agenda for social spending is being blocked by Republicans, who are preparing to stop it in their bid to prevent the 2020 congressional election.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the Democrats for debt relief on their own, through what is called budget reconciliation. It would not need Republican votes. Senate Republicans twice stopped Democrats from seeking bipartisan support in addressing the debt limit.

According to analysts, a first default on the federal loan could have devastating consequences for the U.S. Economy. This would result in millions of job losses, financial markets turmoil, and a rise in home and business mortgages.

Some government services, like the delivery of Social Security benefits checks to the elderly, could be stopped if this is not resolved quickly.

Biden and Schumer rejected reconciliation because it was too complicated and risky to address the debt ceiling problem and warned that economic disaster is possible if Republicans don’t change their course.

Schumer declared, “If Republicans wish to vote ‘no’ tomorrow, and if that is what they truly want, then so be it.” They have an opportunity to prove that they are still responsible. But it’s not too late. It’s dangerously close, however.

Schumer is asking Republicans for a simple vote by the Senate on whether to suspend the debt limit.

For the Democrats’ 60-vote threshold to be able to pass the bill, they would need at least 10 Republicans to join them and the Senate’s 48 Democrats.

Republicans are trying to hold Democrats responsible for raising the debt ceiling. They have refused any offer of assistance.

The majority doesn’t require our votes. McConnell claimed Monday that the majority wants a bipartisan solution to procedural issues they can overcome on their merits.

Some Republicans believe that reconciliation could consume Congress’ attention, slowing Biden’s ability to agree on his social agenda of multitrillion dollars and possibly undermining Biden’s support from moderates.

This would also require Democrats to approve a certain dollar figure for a higher debt ceiling. Republicans can then attack Republicans with 2020 election ads that focus on fiscal responsibility.

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