House to Vote on Debt Ceiling Next Week, Infrastructure Sept. 27

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House to Vote on Debt Ceiling Next Week, Infrastructure Sept. 27
Credit: © Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- The House will vote next week to raise the nation’s $28 trillion debt ceiling, but a political standoff between Democrats and Republicans still threatens to send the U.S. into a payments default next month. 

The Treasury Department has warned that without congressional action, the government could default sometime during October. Senate Republicans have said Democrats should deal with the debt limit on their own and that they plan to vote against an increase. That would block it under normal procedures, which require 60 votes in the Senate.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a scheduling notice Friday that the House will vote next week on a must-pass stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating past the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year, as well as the debt ceiling. But no decision has been made yet on whether to include the debt ceiling provision in the other bill, a Democratic aide said.

The spending resolution also would include new money for natural disaster recovery and to process Afghan refugees, Hoyer said. Democrats are eyeing a stopgap that runs through Dec. 3, according to a person familiar with the bill.

Democrats could bypass a Senate Republican filibuster by using a special fast track budget procedure but have so far decided not to do so, insisting the burden of raising the ceiling must be on both parties. That could change closer to the deadline, however.

The House will also vote on the annual defense policy bill next week and abortion-related legislation, Hoyer said. 

Hoyer said he plans to bring the $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill to the floor for a vote on Sept. 27, making good on a commitment from House leaders to moderate Democrats. The House also plans to vote on its version President Joe Biden’s tax and spending proposal during the current work period, which ends Oct. 1.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may face a rebellion from progressives in her caucus during the vote on the infrastructure bill. 

Progressives have demanded that the larger tax and spending bill total $3.5 trillion and that it be enacted before the infrastructure vote. That now appears unlikely. 

Despite policy committees finishing work on the larger, significant differences remain in the caucus and with the Senate over the content and scope of that larger bill.

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© Bloomberg. Steny Hoyer Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

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