Congressional leaders are working on a stopgap spending bill that would fund the government past Sept. 30 while Congress considers a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a Democrat-backed $3.5 trillion social spending package.
The White House budget office on Tuesday called for Congress to approve a short-term extension in government funding to avoid a partial shutdown Oct. 1. The request also asks Congress to include $14 billion in aid to address disaster aid needs prior to Hurricane Ida, as well as $6.4 billion to help relocate tens of thousands of Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan. The administration is also anticipating that another $10 billion in disaster relief will be needed for Hurricane Ida alone.
“A short-term [continuing resolution] is necessary not only to provide Congress additional time to pass full-year appropriations bills that make bold, forward-looking investments in our future, but also to address the specific, urgent needs facing our country right now,” acting OMB Director Shalanda Young said on Tuesday.
Democratic leaders have not decided when the stopgap continuing resolution should expire, nor have they said whether the bill will also address the debt limit. Republican lawmakers have refused to support an increase to the debt limit because of what they have characterized as reckless spending by Democrats. Last month, a group of 46 Republican senators said that Democrats have engaged in a “massive and unprecedented deficit spending spree” that includes the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed in March and the $3.5 trillion budget resolution passed by the Senate and now the House. The senators, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), said they “will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle.”