WASHINGTON – Democrats scrambled Tuesday to extend funding for the federal government to avoid a shutdown, with negotiations in Congress at a stalemate as President Joe Biden canceled a planned trip to Chicago to focus on budget talks.
A possible shutdown would happen at the start of the fiscal year Friday if a bill to fund the government doesn't pass both the House and Senate.
Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to combine government funding with an increase in the amount the country can borrow.
The debt limit, which the country is projected to reach in mid-October, is another pending crisis. Democrats contend it’s irresponsible to block an increase in the debt limit, but Republicans contend the Democrats must approve it on their own.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proposed Monday to vote on government funding alone, without an increase in the debt limit. But he needed unanimous consent to debate the proposal and Democrats objected.