Bill to Avert Shutdown, Suspend Debt Ceiling Blocked By Senate Republicans

Headline Roundup September 27th, 2021

Senate Republicans on Monday voted against a motion to begin debate on a Democrat-proposed stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown and suspend the debt ceiling. The motion, which needed 60 votes to avoid a Republican filibuster, failed in a 48-50 party line vote. If Congress fails to raise or suspend the debt ceiling by mid-October, the U.S. government could default on its debts for the first time in history. Republicans stuck by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pledge to withhold Republican support for any Democrat bill that extended the debt ceiling. McConnell argued that raising the debt ceiling would allow Democrats to spend more under their current budget reconciliation plan. Democrats refused to include a debt limit suspension in their budget reconciliation bill, which Republicans cannot filibuster. Much of the debt the government could end up defaulting on was undertaken by Republicans during the Trump presidency; the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects the national debt to rise by $3 trillion in 2021.

Coverage in most left- and center-rated outlets framed the issue as a choice by Senate Republicans. Coverage was relatively sparse in right-rated outlets on Monday and tended to focus on Democrats’ criticism of Republicans.

From the Left

Senate Republicans sank Democrats’ plans to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling on Monday evening, sending congressional leaders scrambling to avoid a government shutdown that would kick in Friday morning.

The GOP rejected a proposal to fund the government into December and lift the debt ceiling past next year’s midterms, a vote that needed the support of 10 Republicans to advance over a GOP filibuster. But only a handful of GOP senators even considered it, and the bill appeared doomed for days. Needing 60 votes, the bill failed,...

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From the Center

Senate Republicans on Monday evening blocked a measure to fund the government and suspend the debt ceiling, carrying through on their threat to not deliver votes for a Democratic measure to raise the government's borrowing limit.

The vote was being held open at 48-50 more than an hour after it began. Sixty votes were needed to advance the measure.

No Republicans voted for the legislation.

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From the Right

A group of 64 House Democrats pressed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to address the federal debt limit, arguing in a letter Monday that Republican opposition amounted to "dangerous malpractice" that could cripple the U.S. economy.

In the letter, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and his colleagues said Democrats backed efforts to raise the debt ceiling three times under former President Donald Trump. The lawmakers said McConnell should support a suspension of the limit to "avert a manufactured crisis," noting he had warned as recently as last week that the U.S....

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