In theory, Congress is a step closer to solving its looming funding and debt crises, while in reality lawmakers may be no closer at all.
The Democrat-controlled House yesterday passed a stopgap measure to keep the government funded at current levels until December 3 and also to extend the suspension of the debt ceiling until December 2022. Without the measure, government agencies would begin shutting down October 1, the start of the new fiscal year, and the federal government would risk defaulting on its debts likely at some point in The middle of October.
The vote was strictly partisan, 220-211, sufficient to move the bill through the House where passage requires a simple majority. In the 50-50 Senate, however, Democrats will need at least 10 Republicans to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome a certain filibuster, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has repeatedly stated Democrats will get no GOP help in suspending the debt limit.
Oklahoma members — all Republicans — stand united in opposing further suspension of the debt ceiling, arguing that it just gives the Democrats a blank check to pursue a ‘tax and spend’ agenda which they oppose. They say the debt incurred during the Trump years — and which Democrats helped pay for through bipartisan support of three debt limit increases — was for policies and programs, like Covid relief, that we’re justifiable.