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Democrats Signal They’ll Accept Short-Term Debt Ceiling Hike

Published 10/06/2021, 05:01 PM
Updated 10/06/2021, 05:18 PM
© Bloomberg. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, center, speaks during a news conference following Senate Democrat Policy Luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. The Senate majority leader set up a procedural vote this week on legislation to suspend the debt ceiling that Republicans have vowed to block, raising questions about whether lawmakers can avert a federal default later this month.

(Bloomberg) -- Democrats signaled they would take up Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s offer to raise the U.S. debt ceiling into December, alleviating the immediate risk of a default but raising the prospect of another bruising political fight near the end of the year.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer didn’t respond publicly, but Democrats leaving a meeting with him Wednesday said they were ready to push through a short-term increase in the debt limit. Still, they said they will continue to oppose using a process called reconciliation to pass a long-term increase in the limit with only Democratic votes, which McConnell has demanded.

The Senate meantime delayed an attempt to advance legislation to suspend the debt limit, which Republicans were poised to block.

Democrats said they were still waiting to see McConnell’s proposal in writing. The Republican plan would increase the limit on federal borrowing by a fixed dollar amount that would be sufficient to tide the Treasury over until December, when Congress would have to vote again to avoid a default. That vote could come at about the same time Democrats attempt to move a massive tax and spending package. That’s also when Congress will have to act again to fund the government as part of regular fiscal-year spending, and avert a shutdown.

Democrats said no decision has been made on what they will do when the debt ceiling issue comes to a head again in December.

“We’re going to pay our debts, we have two months to figure out where we go from here,” Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

© Bloomberg. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, center, speaks during a news conference following Senate Democrat Policy Luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. The Senate majority leader set up a procedural vote this week on legislation to suspend the debt ceiling that Republicans have vowed to block, raising questions about whether lawmakers can avert a federal default later this month.

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