Congress in the past two weeks managed to avoid a government shutdown and a nationwide debt default amid one of the busiest legislative months in recent memory, but their last-minute deals set up a December that could be especially painful.
While lawmakers avoided a shutdown by mere hours in September, their short-term funding bill only keeps the government open until Dec. 3, giving Congress less than two months to agree on a spending package for the next fiscal year. Congress also struck a deal to lift the ceiling by $480 billion in October and sent a bill to President Joe Biden’s desk Tuesday, but like the government funding, the higher cap only covers expenses until sometime in December, frustrating lawmakers.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called the patch an “irresponsible and despicable act for adults who know better,” Tuesday even as he urged members to vote for it, while Republicans slammed the process Democrats used to advance it.
Minnesota Republican Rep. Michelle Fischbach called the measure “an insult to the members of this body, who are being denied the opportunity to fully consider the gravity of extending the debt limit,” adding that it “accomplishes nothing more than kicking the can down the