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Democrats link spending bill to debt ceiling hike, putting pressure on GOP


“What the Republicans are doing is nothing less than a dinner-and-dash of historic proportions,” Schumer said in a speech Monday. “It’s not just a partisan battle. It’s about avoiding the crisis that would undo all the progress our country has made to heal itself from the Covid crisis.”

At least one Republican, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, said Monday he was inclined to support the measure because of the disaster relief.

“I’ll probably vote yes, but it won’t go through because there won’t be 10 Republican votes,” he said. “But for disaster relief, no, oh no, I wouldn’t vote for this. This is a manufactured crisis.”

If the legislation isn’t passed, it could spell disaster, with just 10 days for government funding to expire. Should lawmakers not approve an increase in the debt limit in the coming weeks, the government could default on its debt for the first time. That in turn could lead to a financial crisis, or at least a crisis of confidence in the creditworthiness and governance of the United States.

Republicans argue that Democrats can lift the debt cap on their own, as they can essentially reopen the fiscal blueprint they are using to push through Mr Biden’s $3.5 trillion economic package. But adding a debt ceiling hike would be an arduous and politically charged task, and Democrats have rejected the suggestion.

“Personally, I’d like to see a clean vote on a debt ceiling, so Republicans just have to publicize that vote and not mix it up with a financing measure,” said Kentucky Representative John Yarmuth, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Committee on Budgets, speaking of “Fox News Sunday.” “But in the end, the most important thing is to get them both done.”

While demanding Republicans’ cooperation, Democratic leaders have been saying for weeks that they are unwilling to make concessions in exchange for their vote on a debt ceiling hike. Lawmakers were also negotiating details of aid to Afghan refugees and natural disasters, as well as an extension of a number of programs set to expire on September 30 at the end of the fiscal year.

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