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Democrats pass bill to raise debt ceiling, fund government

Democrats pass bill to raise debt ceiling, fund government
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., participates in a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 1, 2021. DeLauro introduced a bill that Tuesday that tied raising the debt ceiling to extending government funding. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- House Democrats on Tuesday voted to approve a bill to keep the federal government running and suspend the debt ceiling past the 2022 midterms.

In a 220-211 vote along party lines, the House passed the measure, setting up a likely clash in the Senate where Republicans are threatening to block it.

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Democratic leaders warned on Monday they will insert a measure raising the country's debt ceiling into a bill to fund government operations in an effort to push Republicans on passing both.

The Republicans are using the issues to protest the Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending package being considered in the House and Senate. The Democrats are trying to use the budget resolution process to get around Republican opposition.

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Ten Republicans would have to join Democrats for the bill to pass in the Senate.

In an effort to sweeten the pot for Republicans, the bill includes $28.6 billion in disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and the East Coast.

"As our nation continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic and other serious challenges, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act meets the continuing needs of people who live paycheck to paycheck," committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro said in a statement.

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"It is critical that Congress swiftly pass this legislation to support vital education, health, housing and public safety programs and provide emergency help for disaster survivors and Afghan evacuees."

The federal government will cease funding after Sept. 30 unless the House and Senate act to end the standoff leading to a partial government shutdown not seen since the Obama era. The shutdown then put non-essential government employees and contractors on the streets, leaving national parks and museums, among other facilities, closed.

House Democrats on Tuesday ultimately stripped the package of $1 billion to fund Israel's missile defense system. The move is not expected to bring lawmakers any closer to an agreement on the legislation, Politico reported.

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The aid, instead, will be included in the defense spending bill.

"There is no interruption in funding for the Iron Dome," Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro said.

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