WASHINGTON – The federal government is less than two days away from running out of funds. While the country stares down another rippling government shutdown, lawmakers still have no clear plan.
It threatens to furlough hundreds of thousands of federal workers in the middle of a pandemic, impacting everything from social security to travel.
“Democrats have the majority now in both houses in the White House,” Senator Tim Kaine says. “Let me just tell you, we are not going to let the government shut down and we are not going to default on the debt of this country.”
Democrats are up against the clock, trying to avoid the country defaulting on its debt next month. If the United States did default for the first time in history, local lawmakers from both parties warn of an economic catastrophe.
“We owe it to these working families to keep the government operating to make sure that their businesses and their paychecks don’t take a hit,” Congressman Ben Cline says.
Senate Republicans are blocking bills to address the two fiscal threats, saying Democrats are spending too much money.
“We have to see some signal from the Democrats that they’re not going to continue business as usual when it comes to piling up debt on future generations,” Cline adds.
“We need to pass a continuing resolution that will fund government operations through December as we work on full-year appropriations,” Kaine says. “That bill has been negotiated and I believe we will start to see votes on that bill today.”
This comes as President Joe Biden tries to unite his own party. Democrats are still divided over signature priorities, including a trillion-dollar Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and a $3.5 trillion plan for climate programs, health care and education.