US Senate in search of consensus to avoid default

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The United States Senate could vote on an interim financing bill on Wednesday to avoid paralysis of federal state services, Democrats said on Wednesday. A text which must then be approved by the House of Representatives before Friday.

According to Democrats in the US Senate, an agreement is close at hand on a temporary budget bill aimed at avoiding the paralysis of the government, known in the United States as “shutdown”. the upper house of Congress “could” vote on Wednesday a text which will then have to be approved by the House of Representatives before Friday, so that the United States avoids the default of the federal state, announced its Democratic leader, the 29 September.

Republicans broadly support this text, which would extend the current budget until December 3 and should therefore be approved in the upper house. “The Senate could act today to address a concern that demands the immediate attention of this chamber: the funding of the federal government beyond September 30,” the end of the US budget year, said the Democratic leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, in the hemicycle.

The timing of the votes has not yet been set. This bill will also include assistance for American states struck by natural disasters, as well as funds to help Afghan refugees settle in the United States.

Parliamentarians have until midnight Thursday evening to adopt a new finance law, otherwise all funding for federal services will suddenly be cut. Ministries but also national parks, certain museums and a multitude of organizations would be affected, forcing hundreds of thousands of employees on technical unemployment.

Disagreement on the suspension of the debt ceiling

An instability that nobody wants in Congress while many other legislative fronts agitate Washington, between the big reforms wanted by Joe Biden and the threat of a default if the debt ceiling of the United States is not raised quickly.

“The last thing Americans need right now is government paralysis,” insisted Chuck Schumer. Consensual, this text should be the easiest to adopt of all the fronts open to Congress. But a previous version had been blocked in the Senate on Monday by Republicans because it also included the suspension of the debt limit of the United States until December 2022.

The Republicans refuse to give the green light to such a measure which would amount, according to them, to writing a blank check to Joe Biden, and urge the Democrats to approve it alone, through a laborious parliamentary maneuver. Chuck Schumer hammered on Wednesday that this path would be too “risky” and calls on the opposition to lift its blockage.

Joe Biden’s Finance Minister Janet Yellen warned the country would run out of resources on October 18 if that cap was not raised or suspended sooner. Uncertainty remains over a possible solution in Congress.

With AFP

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