Capitol Correspondence - 10.05.21

The Debt Limit Crisis Looms Over Congress

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Last Thursday, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend government funding until December 3, 2021, ultimately avoiding a government shutdown. The Senate passed the CR with a vote of 65-35, while the House passed the CR with a vote of 254-175 with 3 members not voting. The CR also includes supplemental funding for disaster relief and Afghanistan refugees, and extends Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the territories until December 3, 2021.  

Not included in the CR, however, is extension of the debt limit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has announced that the debt limit needs to be raised by October 18, 2021, or the Treasury Department will be unable to borrow more money to finance government operations. It’s important to note that the debt limit applies to money that has already been spent by the federal government; a vote to raise the debt limit is not a vote to increase federal spending but rather to account for past expenditures.  

In order to meet the October 18 deadline, Congress must act quickly. The House has passed a standalone measure to raise the debt ceiling, but it is unclear if it can pass in the Senate. If a standalone bill fails, Congress will have to raise the debt ceiling through the budget reconciliation process.  

ANCOR will continue to monitor these developments and provide updates to members, especially on how it will impact our work.