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Dems seek to ‘avoid a shutdown, at all costs’ as GOP picks debt fight

2 580 69
23.09.2021

Democrats want to bludgeon the GOP over its debt ceiling intransigence as much as they can — though not necessarily hard enough to shut the government down next week.

Publicly, Senate Democrats' preferred option is to continue pressuring Republicans to buckle and accept their proposal linking government funding and a debt ceiling increase. But failing that, they say they need to ensure they avoid a momentum-draining shutdown next week amid the pandemic and internal dissent over acting on President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.

So as the debt stalemate pushes the country toward economic debacle, several Democrats said in interviews that they'll do whatever it takes to keep the government open — which would almost certainly involve dropping a borrowing limit hike from their funding package and starting negotiations with Republicans who've vowed to block any increase. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) hasn’t briefed his members on any back-up plan, but many in the party say a shutdown on their watch is not an option.



Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), facing one of the toughest reelection campaigns next year, said that while he wants a bipartisan debt increase, “at the same time we can’t allow the government to shut down.” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said it’s not worth a shutdown to pressure Republicans to change their mind about the debt ceiling: “We definitely want to avoid a shutdown, at all costs.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said the party is “not going to give up” after it calls up a House-passed stopgap funding bill with a debt limit hike attached, a measure that’s destined to fail in the upper chamber: “There are alternatives for trying to get the debt ceiling and the [spending bill] done. I don’t know........

© Politico


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