US Senate will stay in session until debt ceiling bill passed, Schumer says

June 2, 2023 10:41 am

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives for his news conference after the weekly Senate Democratic caucus policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S [Source: Reuters]

The U.S. Senate will stay in session until it passes a bill to lift the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, as some members pushed him to allow amendment votes that risks delaying the process.

The chamber has just four days left to pass the measure — which would suspend the debt limit through Jan. 1, 2025 — and send it to President Joe Biden to sign, averting a catastrophic default.

“We will keep working until the job is done,” Schumer said in a floor speech.

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Schumer and his Republican counterpart Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to do all they could to speed along the bill negotiated by Biden and Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which would suspend the debt limit, essentially temporarily removing it, in exchange for a cap on spending.

It remained to be seen whether any members of their respective caucuses, particularly hardline Republicans angry the bill did not include deeper spending cuts, would use the Senate’s arcane rules to try to slow down its passage.

Some members were pushing Schumer to allow some votes on amendments to the bill, in exchange for allowing the overall package to pass more quickly. That is a common maneuver in the Senate but one that is not without risk, as if any of the amendments were to succeed, the bill would have to go back to the House.

There is little time for that as the Treasury Department warned it will be unable to pay all its bills on June 5 if Congress fails to act.