Schumer aims to increase the deficit ceiling account through Senate

June 5, 2023: On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will try to increase a bill through the Senate to raise the debt limitation for two years and cap government spending as the U.S. barrels towards a June 5 deadline to avert a debt default.

“The Senate be connected in session until we send a bill avoiding default to President Biden’s desk; we will keep working until the job is done,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor at the beginning of the session on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Fiscal Responsibility Act was passed in the Republican majority House night by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. It was sent to the Democratic-controlled Senate, which met Thursday and prepared to take up the bill.

To fast-track a bill through the chamber and vote on it before Monday, all 100 senators must agree to the plan and give their “unanimous consent” for the account to bypass the notoriously slow Senate procedures.

On Thursday, Kaine introduced an amendment that would strip the House bill of a previous-minute provision that guaranteed the approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a controversial natural gas pipeline project through West Virginia and Virginia.

Lee also proposed an amendment to remove a line in the House bill that would allow the Office of Management and Budget director to waive some spending restrictions on federal regulators if they determined that the spending was needed for “effective program delivery.”

In a typical Senate process, these members would be expected to slow down Senate deliberations on the bill, propose their amendments to it, try to get those amendments passed by a vote and added to the account, and if they succeed, send the amended bill back to the House for another vote.

But just days before the June 5 deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, at which point the United States would likely be unable to meet its debt obligations, Schumer made it clear on Wednesday that the bill could not move backward.

“We can’t send anything back to the House,” he told reporters in the Capitol. “That would risk default, plain and simple.”

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