Republicans in the United State blocked a Senate bill to fund the government at current levels and suspend the debt ceiling. The government could shutdown early Friday morning. The bill’s failure is no surprise, since Republicans had said they would not vote to raise the debt ceiling, insisting Democrats and President Biden are spending too much. If Congress doesn’t pass funding by the end of September 30, the conclusion of the current fiscal year, large swaths of the government will stop operating. Without an agreement to suspend or raise the debt limit, the Treasury Department can’t keep paying the federal government’s bills.
Ahead of the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans “will support a clean continuing resolution that will prevent a government shutdown,” without raising the debt limit. The need to have an accord is for a bill funding traditional infrastructure, including roads, bridges and rail, which has already passed in the Senate, and a massive spending bill to greatly expand social services and education. A commentors said, this is a political game. Observers inside and outside Washington are worried neither side will budge in time, roiling financial markets and capsizing the economy’s nascent recovery from the pandemic downturn. Party leaders like Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky want to force Democrats to raise the limit on their own. Democrats say Republicans have a responsibility to help raise the limit, noting that they helped when Trump needed to do it.