White Home prepares for potential shutdown as leaders grapple with essential deadlines, Biden agenda


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, heart, Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Chief Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive for a information convention to announce a framework for President Bidens financial plan within the Capitol Customer Heart on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Name, Inc. | Getty Photographs

Democrats in Congress scrambled Thursday to beat a string of deadlines that maintain large stakes for each the well being of the U.S. financial system and President Joe Biden’s sweeping financial agenda.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., intention to work their manner out of a number of binds as they attempt to forestall a authorities shutdown, a default on U.S. debt and the collapse of Biden’s home ambitions.

The leaders first discover themselves watching a Sept. 30 deadline to move an appropriations invoice earlier than authorities funding lapses. The White Home on Thursday started to advise federal businesses to arrange for the primary authorities shutdown of the Covid-19 period.

The White Home Workplace of Administration and Finances is taking steps to let division and company leaders know that, barring a brand new appropriations invoice, they’re anticipated to execute shutdown plans beginning late subsequent week. For a lot of businesses, these plans typically embody sending employees house.

The workplace usually asks businesses seven days earlier than a authorities shutdown to replace their plans and can share a draft template every division can use to replace authorities staff on congressional efforts to move a funding invoice and what number of employees might should be furloughed.

The communication doesn’t replicate the workplace’s views on whether or not a seamless decision is probably going or not and is seen as extra of a proper responsibility.

Efforts to move a brand new price range are underway on Capitol Hill, the place Home Democrats earlier this week handed a measure to fund the federal government, droop the debt ceiling, and approve emergency assist equivalent to catastrophe reduction.

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That proposal is predicted to stall within the Senate, the place Republicans are unanimous of their opposition to any invoice that seeks to boost or droop the debt ceiling. 

Democrats are on tight financial timelines. Some are self-imposed, equivalent to Pelosi’s promise to carry a vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure invoice on or earlier than Sept. 27. The Senate has already handed the measure.

However there are different, standing deadlines. Whereas Congress should move a brand new price range by the top of September to keep away from a shutdown, lawmakers should additionally work out a method to enhance or droop the debt ceiling by a to-be-determined “drop-dead” date.

Treasury officers estimate that lawmakers have till some level in October earlier than the U.S. would default on its debt for the primary time.

Regardless of the time crunch, Schumer has promised to take up the Home-passed debt ceiling and authorities funding invoice nonetheless and power the GOP to publicly vote in opposition to a invoice that may preserve the federal government open and permit the Treasury Division to proceed to pay for laws Congress has already approved.

Elevating or suspending the debt ceiling, or borrowing restrict, doesn’t authorize new federal spending, however permits Treasury to pay for laws that lawmakers have already handed. A rise would permit the division to repay payments related to the trillions in Covid reduction enacted underneath former President Donald Trump and Biden.

Many suspect that Pelosi will likely be pressured to move a brand new decision with out the debt ceiling to maintain the federal government open. Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has mentioned on a number of events that he would help such a “clear” invoice to keep away from a shutdown.

Individually, Pelosi and Schumer declared Thursday morning that they’d reached an settlement on the “framework” for taxes that may be wanted to fund Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package deal to revolutionize the U.S. public security internet.

“The White Home, the Home and the Senate have reached settlement on a framework that may pay for any ultimate negotiated settlement,” Schumer mentioned. “So, the income aspect of this, we’ve an settlement on. It is a framework. An settlement on the framework.”

Reasonable and progressive Democrats have clashed over the scale and scope of the package deal. Neither Pelosi nor Schumer clarified whether or not the negotiators had made selections whittling down their choices for financing the invoice, or have been merely in settlement over which of many choices they’re collectively prepared to contemplate.