Congress votes to avoid government shutdown

Back-to-back votes in the Senate and the House passed a stopgap bill to keep the government open. President Joe Biden signed the measure into law on Thursday evening.

The temporary, nine-week legislation provides funding through Dec. 3 and sets aside emergency aid for disaster relief and Afghan refugee resettlement. Democrats took out language that would suspend the debt ceiling through 2022 after Republicans blocked a similar bill earlier this week. 

What about the national debt? Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Congress has until Oct. 18 to either raise the debt ceiling or default for the first time in the country’s history.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans will not vote to suspend the ceiling and that Democrats will have to address the debt limit on their own through the budget reconciliation process, which they can use to avoid a GOP filibuster.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said adding the issue to an in-progress reconciliation bill is a risky step that would take too long.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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