The Democratic-run Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on legislation that would just avoid a partial government shutdown by keeping the federal government funded after Thursday.
“Senate Democrats will be introducing a continuing resolution that keeps the government open until early December, while also providing long-sought emergency funding to help Americans still reeling from natural disasters from this summer, as well as funding to help resettle Afghan refugees,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, in a floor speech on Wednesday morning.
“We can approve this measure quickly and send it to the House, so it can reach the president’s desk before funding expires at midnight tomorrow.”
Republican senators have blocked a House-passed bill that would prevent a shutdown but also would raise the federal borrowing limit, putting pressure on Democrats to deliver a measure that only would address a shutdown.
Top House Democrats had been suggesting that exactly such a measure was in the works, with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer saying Tuesday that his chamber’s leaders were talking to the Senate about that.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, has argued repeatedly that Democratic lawmakers ought to go it alone to lift the debt limit through a process known as budget reconciliation, similar to how they’re working to pass a $3.5 trillion spending plan without GOP votes. Democrats have maintained that the increase should happen through a standard process and draw bipartisan support, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat, saying it’s paying “the Trump credit card.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi and other top Democrats also are facing pressure from progressive colleagues who say they won’t support a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that has passed the Senate unless the party’s $3.5 trillion package moves ahead in tandem.