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Democrats Plan to Pack Debt Ceiling in Government Funding Bill

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Democrats plan to pack a provision raising the debt ceiling in the government funding bill, setting up a clash with congressional Republicans.

Congressional Democrats plan to propose lifting the debt ceiling through the 2022 midterm elections as part of their plans to fund the federal government through December.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) decision to put the debt ceiling provision in the government funding bill rather than the budget reconciliation would set up a clash with Senate Republicans, who have promised to oppose such a measure.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: (L-R) U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talk to reporters after a bipartisan group of Senators and White House officials came to an agreement over the Biden administrations proposed infrastructure plan at the U.S. Capitol on June 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. After initial negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans fell through a new bipartisan group of Senators came together with the hopes of reaching a deal for a much need infrastructure spending plan. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). (Samuel Corum/Getty Images).

The federal government runs out of funding on September 30, and the debt ceiling must be lifted in early October.

“The debt limit is a shared responsibility, and I urge Congress to come together, in that spirit, on a bipartisan basis as it has in the past to protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” Pelosi wrote in a Dear Colleague to members Sunday.

Senate Republicans have noted that House Budget Committee chair John Yarmuth (D-KY) said that Democrats have the capability to raise the debt ceiling through reconciliation rather than the government funding bill. This might raise questions as to why Pelosi and Schumer would want to engage in brinksmanship-style negotiations with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

“Well, ultimately they’re going to have to vote for it or we’re going to have to have a vote and do it by ourselves,” Yarmuth said in a recent MSNBC interview.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15: Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, speaks to reporters after a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center on June 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. The closed door caucus meeting was held in person for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, speaks to reporters. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).

He added, “We can do it through reconciliation. Leadership has said they don’t want to do that. The reason is, if we do that through reconciliation, we have to specify a number. That only leads to further chaos in a certain period of time.”

Yarmuth said he would rather raise the debt limit to an “extraordinarily large amount that we’ll never reach” so that Congress could avoid the dramatic showdowns between party leaders.

“But that’s probably not viable politically,” Yarmuth remarked.

Pelosi and Schumer’s decision follows as McConnell said last week that he is not “bluffing” on Senate Republicans’ stand on the debt ceiling.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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