Congress faces partial government shutdown amid budget, debt ceiling debates

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WASHINGTON D.C. (BRPROUD) – Once again, the United States government faces a partial shutdown at the end of the week if a temporary budget is not approved. 

The country also faces potentially defaulting on its debts by Dec. 15. To avoid this the debt ceiling would need to be raised but Republicans are demanding Democrats share just how much they want to borrow.

“This is trying to get the other party to be honest,” Sen. Bill Cassidy said.

After kicking the can down the road earlier in the fall, the deadline has arrived to approve a new budget and possibly raise the debt ceiling. This time around the idea is less contentious among lawmakers.

“How much do you actually intend to spend? By the way, they can pass an increase in the debt ceiling without any Republican help,” Sen. Cassidy said.

There will be a partial government shutdown Friday if a deal isn’t reached but lawmakers seem confident it could be pushed off until the new year.

“I hope the Republicans won’t take the country down that road, we urge Republican colleagues to work with us,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary said they have done everything they can to avoid a default, but now the debt ceiling must be raised or suspended.

Congress has a number of other issues to tackle before the calendar runs out.

“Now at the end of the year we have this, spending bills, hurricane relief, their bad bad bad bill, and the debt ceiling all kind of jumbled together,” Sen. Cassidy said.

Senator Cassidy and John Kennedy have voiced their concerns over the Build Back Better plan adding to the nation’s debt despite supporters of the bill saying it is paid for.

“How much in the Biden administration’s opinion, is too much debt?” asked Sen. John Kennedy in a hearing with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The National Defense Authorization Act is tied up in debates. The approval of the act is the latest it has been in over 60 years. Sen. Cassidy said there are some proposed amendments but it should be passed to fund the military.

Amid the budget talks, there is a push to bring more disaster relief to Louisiana.

“This will be part of a continuing resolution that would be an interim budget deal that would be signed somewhere in December or perhaps early January,” Sen. Cassidy said.

Funds are expected for Ida recovery and lawmakers are pushing for more Laura relief.

The House and Senate are working on these funding bills this week.

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