Congress Seeks to Prevent Collapse by Raising the Debt Limit by Friday

To prevent a government collapse, Congress must finance the national government by midnight on Friday. In the coming days, Democrat leaders will have to juggle numerous goals, such as adopting the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, clearing the National Defense Authorization Law, and increasing or postponing the debt limit.

According to Politico, the House may vote as early as Wednesday to avoid a government shutdown by moving the stopgap bill to the Senate.

While authorities have not decided on a deadline, they are considering middle to late January. That timeframe would give top legislators and the White House just under two months to work out a bipartisan agreement.

Republican Leaders Rising Above

Liberals hoped for a short-term financing resolution that would expire well before the holidays to keep the heat on Republicans to reach a larger budget agreement before Christmas.

Republican leaders have shown no interest in participating in such talks; instead, the GOP is pressuring Democrats with non-defense spending levels set during the Trump administration. 

However, CNBC stated lawmakers are expected to strike an agreement. Congressional members and Washington policy experts who spoke with CNBC on Monday seemed optimistic about Congress’ prospects of passing an interim spending package, known as a continuing agreement.

Failure to adopt legislation by the end of Friday may result in government employee cutbacks and an interruption in some governmental services. 

A person involved with the conversations told CNBC that as of midday Monday, Democrats and Republicans looked to be uniting around a package that would finance the government into late January or early February.

Another aide said key officials are sure they can reach an agreement to avoid a crisis before time runs out. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reminded Congress before Thanksgiving that the debt limit, which Congress temporarily halted in 2019, must be lifted by December 15.

Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which the Treasury would indeed be left with inadequate funds to continue financing US government activities beyond that date.

Yellen also mentioned the government’s income stream is subject to unforeseen unpredictability, so she will keep Congress informed when new information comes to light.

Drafting Women

Conversely, the updated iteration of the National Defense Authorization Act (that would fund the Department of Defense through 2022) has sparked debate owing to its probable inclusion of a draft for women.

GOP Sen. Josh Hawley said earlier in the month that forcing our daughters, mothers, spouses, and sisters to participate in US conflicts is wrong. Hawley also mentioned the country is deeply thankful to the courageous women who have chosen to serve in our fighting military.

He went on to explain women have played an important part in protecting America at every stage of our country’s history. However, opting for military service is not the same as being forced to do so, and no woman should be pushed to do so.