Lawmakers are racing the clock with the Senate and House both expected to vote to approve a short-term funding patch to keep the government open through December 3rd. Democrats, who control both chambers of Congress, have so far projected confidence that a shutdown will not occur, but with the deadline rapidly approaching, lawmakers have no room for error.
“Some good news — today the Senate will pass a continuing resolution that will eliminate the possibility of a government shutdown tonight,” Schumer said in floor remarks Thursday morning.
In addition to funding the government until December 3, the stopgap bill will “provide funding to help process and resettle Afghan refugees and finally deliver on critical disaster aid for Americans battered by storms and wildfires this summer,” the majority leader said.
Beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, the Senate is slated to hold several amendment votes before voting on the continuing resolution. The House is expected to take up the measure later Thursday once it is approved by the Senate.
Congressional Democrats initially attempted to address the government funding issue alongside the debt limit, a strategy that was thwarted by Republicans in the Senate who have insisted that Democrats must act alone on the debt limit.
If lawmakers manage to stave off a shutdown by passing a “clean” stopgap bill, it will punt the debt limit issue further down the road with another key deadline fast approaching.
Democrats do have the option to raise the debt limit on their own using a process known as budget reconciliation, but they have argued that route is too risky and would risk a default, leaving it unclear how the issue will be resolved.