Biden faces first shutdown; Republicans block Bill

Washingto, Sep 28:

Republican senators blocked a Bill Monday night to keep the Government operating and allow federal borrowing but Democrats aiming to avert a shutdown are likely to try again at the same time pressing ahead on President Joe Biden’s big plans to reshape government.

The efforts are not necessarily linked but the fiscal yearend deadline to fund the Government past Thursday is bumping up against the Democrats’ desire to make progress on Biden’s expansive $ 3.5 trillion federal overhaul.

It’s all making for a tumultuous moment for Biden and his party, with consequences certain to shape his presidency and the lawmakers’ own political futures.

Success would mean a landmark accomplishment, if Democrats can helm Biden’s big Bill to passage. Failure or a highly unlikely government shutdown and debt crisis could derail careers.

You know me, I’m a born optimist, Biden told reporters Monday, as he rolled up his sleeve for a COVID-19 booster shot.

We’re gonna get it done.

In Monday night’s vote, senators voted 50-48 against taking up the Bill, well short of the 60 yes votes needed to proceed. Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his yes to no at the end in order to allow Democrats to reconsider the bill later.

With days to go, Democrats are likely to try again before Thursday’s deadline to pass a Bill funding Government operations past the September 30 fiscal yearend, stripping out the debate over the debt limit for another day, closer to a separate October deadline.

Meanwhile, the real action is unfolding behind the scenes over the $ 3.5 trillion measure, with Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress seeking a once-in-a-generation reworking of the nation’s balance sheets.

From fee pre-kindergarten and child care subsidies for families with small children to dental care and hearing aids for seniors with Medicare, there’s a lot in the President’s proposal all to be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

With Republicans solidly opposed, Democrats are rushing to trim the total and win holdouts within their own party.

Building on a separate $1 trillion bipartisan public works package that’s already cleared the Senate and is heading for a House vote, Biden is seeking major spending for health care, education and efforts to tackle climate change. The total price tag, he contends, is actually zero covered by the expected increase in tax revenue.

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