Federal Relations

September 30, 2021

Shutdown Likely Averted But Fight On Reconciliation and Infrastructure Continues

Democrats have decoupled the provision to raise the debt ceiling from the continuing resolution (CR) package that would keep the government funded through December 3.  This has allowed the Senate to vote on the slimmed-down package this afternoon.  After passage by the Senate, the package is expected to be taken up by the House quickly.

Although this means that a shutdown will be averted and that the government will be funded through at least the first few days of December, the question of how to deal with the impending breach of the debt ceiling remains unanswered.  Read more about the CR situation here and here.

At the same time, Democrats continue to battle among themselves in a fight over if and when a budget reconciliation bill might be brought to the floor, a decision that also controls if and when the infrastructure legislation might be considered in the House.  As noted previously, House progressives have insisted that the entirety of their $3.5-trillion package be brought up first as a way to guarantee their support for the infrastructure bill and to ensure that moderates who are not as comfortable with the size of the reconciliation legislation cannot just vote for the $1.5-trilllion infrastructure bill and oppose the bigger measure.

The same group of House progressives has insisted that the two Democratic Senators who appear to be the most prominent holdouts on the reconciliation bill, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema, offer up a counter-proposal to the $3.5-trillion figure.  Just after lunchtime in DC today, Sen. Manchin publicly stated that he is interested in a reconciliation package that would be limited to $1.5 trillion.  How these developments impact the negotiations remain to be seen.

Read more about the developments around reconciliation and infrastructure bills herehere, and here.