WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told senators Monday he hopes to approve legislation raising the debt limit this week. Republicans have vowed to oppose the stand-alone bill.
Democrats voted 50-43 on Thursday to begin debating a House-approved suspension in the debt limit until Dec. 16, 2022. But Republicans could still filibuster a final approval, which would require 60 votes.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has suggested Democrats will have to add a debt limit provision to President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion of social welfare priorities, which is being debated under rules that prevent a filibuster.
The debate over the debt limit comes as Democrats negotiate how to reduce the price tag on the $3.5 trillion package and vote in the House on pending infrastructure legislation with $550 billion in new spending.
Schumer, D-N.Y., said a compromise on the broader spending package could come “preferably within a matter of days, not weeks.”
Both sides agree the debt limit must be raised to avoid the country defaulting on its credit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned the country will exhaust its credit limit by Oct. 18; Schumer said raising the limit must come sooner to calm financial markets.
“Let me be clear about the task ahead of us: we must get a bill to the president’s desk dealing with the debt limit by the end of the week. Period,” Schumer said. “We do not have the luxury of waiting until October 18th, as it is our responsibility to reassure the world that the United States meets our obligations in a timely fashion and that the full faith and credit of the United States should never be in question.”