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Deadline to Pass New US Budget and Avoid Government Shutdown


Deadline to Pass New US Budget and Avoid Government Shutdown

Biden Budget
Photo: Vox

The US Congress has until the end of the day to pass a new budget and avoid a government shutdown.

On Monday, Senate Republicans voted against a Democratic resolution to address the debt ceiling and avoid the shutdown. The move follows Republican resistance to President Joe Biden’s expansive economic agenda, including his $3.5 trillion spending plan.

A government shutdown would force almost 1.5 million federal employees to stop working while federal agencies face greater operational pressures. Notably, it is expected that 62% of employees at the US Centers for Disease Control could be furloughed without pay, even as the COVID-19 Delta variant surges across the country.

It is expected that a short-term agreement will be reached today to keep the government funded. Democratic lawmakers will then turn their attention to passing their economic agenda and raising the debt ceiling.

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Medium-term, it is likely that Democrats will pursue budget reconciliation, forcing them to raise the debt ceiling to a specified amount instead of suspending it until a later date. In doing so, Republicans will likely seize on the opportunity to blame the Democrats for high public debt come next year’s midterm elections, challenging the Democrats’ narrow majority in the House and Senate.

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