The federal government will run out of money in three days while a legislative pileup has continued to plague Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who failed on Monday to pass a routine defense bill to clear legislative calendar days to pass the $1.9 trillion reconciliation package.
Senate Democrats are scrambling to execute the priority of funding the government. Schumer is reportedly trying to get Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on board to pass a measure Wednesday to partially fund the government until late January. But no outcome has resulted from talks.
Schumer is likely angling to fund the government only until late January to avoid a larger fight with Republicans while freeing up calendar days to pass the reconciliation package.
Complicating the passage of funding the federal government is the Senate Democrats’ failed attempt to pass a routine defense bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The defense act is usually a bipartisan piece of legislation that has been enacted for 60 years.
Senate Republicans successfully delayed the passage of the NDAA Monday to presumably tighten the screws on the Senate Democrats’ legislative calendar with the intention of thwarting the massive tax and spend welfare package.
“It’s about a general effort to obstruct anything that’s going on, with the hope that will reflect poorly on Joe Biden,” embattled Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) told Politico about Republicans’ successful effort Monday.
“It’s incompetence of managing the bill,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said defending Republicans. “We can get it done this week. They don’t have their act together on reconciliation yet, so it’s not to delay that.”
Schumer has said he wants a vote on the reconciliation package before Christmas, an aggressive schedule. Yet Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has slow-walked the reconciliation process, stated he is fine with the package being considered in 2022.
In order to pass the reconciliation package on time, however, Senate Democrats must fund the government, raise the debt ceiling before December 15, and pass the NDAA — all within December.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that we take care of the debt ceiling. And Democrats are now in control, so we want to make sure we do it and do it right,” Manchin admitted to Politico about the Democrats’ responsibility of managing the chamber.
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