An agreement to prevent a government shutdown was reached in America

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday night that an agreement to keep the government funded and prevent a government shutdown has been reached. Lawmakers voted 219-212 to approve a bill that would suspend the federal debt limit through Dec. 17, 2022, with roughly three weeks until the U.S. is on track to default on the national debt. The short-term government funding bill would keep federal agencies operating through December 3. The bill includes $6.3 billion for relocation efforts for Afghan refugees, as well as $28.6 billion for disaster assistance following a spate of devastating hurricanes and wildfires. A funding lapse could pose particular challenges during U.S. efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers still need to raise or suspend the debt ceiling before Oct. 18 to prevent a default on U.S. debt that would result in job losses, economic damage and a drop in the stock market. Raising or suspending the debt limit does not increase the size of the national debt directly, but allows the Treasury to generate more cash to pay off obligations already approved over several decades.

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“Our skyrocketing national debt is alarming to so many of our constituents, and it’s past time for Congress to acknowledge the severity of our situation and begin to address it,” said Murphy, a leader of the Blue Dog caucus of conservative House Democrats, in a statement. Adding a debt ceiling increase to the budget resolution would allow Democrats to keep the country solvent with simple majorities in both chambers, and budget experts say the process could be completed before the U.S. runs out of cash.