Chuck Schumer Sets Monday Vote to Suspend Debt Ceiling, Without Assurance of Needed GOP Support

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gestures as he speaks with reporters as he walks to a press event at the U.S. Capitol on September 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers continue to work towards coming to an agreement to pass legislation to fund the …
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has set a Monday vote to avoid government shutdown, though not enough “yes” votes have signaled they intend to pass the measure.

Republicans are opposed to raise the federal government’s spending limit because doing so would help President Biden’s massive tax and spend agenda. Instead, Republicans are allowing Democrats to solve the debt crisis, created by such massive spending.

“This is a totally Democratic government. They have an obligation to raise the debt ceiling and they will do it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) listens as Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) addresses reporters following a weekly Republican policy meeting at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. McConnell answered a range of questions related primarily to raising the debt limit as Congress struggles to find common ground on spending priorities. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) listens as Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) addresses reporters following a weekly Republican policy meeting at the U.S. Capitol. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).

Schumer has spun the Democrats’ position as needing Republicans to operate the three Democrat-controlled branches of government.

“The resolution is the answer for avoiding numerous fast-approaching crises on the horizon,” Schumer said. “Every single member in this chamber is going on record as to whether they support keeping the government open and averting a default, or support shutting us down and careening our country towards a default.”

If the vote fails, Democrats will have options to weigh. But they must decide on a course of action soon, as federal agencies must discontinue all non-essential discretionary functions October 1.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told the Hill he predicts Democrats will “turn to a short-term continuing resolution that doesn’t include the debt limit.”

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) addresses reporters following a weekly Republican policy meeting at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. McConnell answered a range of questions related primarily to raising the debt limit as Congress struggles to find common ground on spending priorities. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD). (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).

“I think that play is mainly in the Dems court,” Thune explained. “We think they pivot pretty quickly to Plan B.”

But the uncertainty of not being able to raise the debt limit, a function of going further into debt as a nation, is worrying Democrats.

“I don’t know what the plan B is… Plan B is to have Republicans step up and be responsible,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told the Hill on Thursday, blaming Republicans for the Democrat-control government.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) speaks at a news conference with Senate Democratic Leadership at the Capitol Building on August 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate has moved on to the amendments process this week for the legislative text of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which aims to fund improvements to roads, bridges, dams, climate resiliency and broadband internet. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) speaks at a news conference with Senate Democratic Leadership. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).

“So then what’s the plan?” Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) added. “We’ve got to pay our bills,” he added. “This is asinine… People need to remove their heads from their lower extremities.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø 

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