A lot of No’s
Congress agreed to pass a 9-week spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. Unfortunately, that is the only thing lawmakers could agree to last week. There will be no bipartisan infrastructure bill, no reconciliation bill, and no suspension of the debt ceiling—for now.
Stop-Gap Funding Bill and Debt Ceiling
On Thursday Congress voted to continue funding the federal government until December 3, 2021. However, language that would have suspended the debt ceiling until December 2022 was removed after an initial failed vote. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen told Congress that the government will be unable to meet its financial obligations by October 18, 2021.
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Congress passed H.R. 5434, a 30-day extension of surface transportation programs. President Biden believes a delayed vote for the bipartisan bill will give lawmakers more time to chart a concrete path forward for the Build Back Better Act.
Build Back Better Act
President Biden is actively negotiating the scope of the Build Back Better Act with members from both the House and Senate. It is clear now that the bill will not fund $3.5 trillion worth of programs and will have to be scaled back to between $1.9 trillion and $2.3 trillion.
President Biden will continue negotiations with lawmakers and travel across the Country to advocate the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act.