TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Lawmakers are fighting four battles at once as the discord and dysfunction on Capitol Hill is laid bare.
Late Thursday afternoon, Congress passed legislation to fund the government through early December, taking one item off their to-do list. President Biden will likely sign it Thursday evening or Friday.
But the remaining battles may be more impactful.
Congress must raise the debt ceiling — the mechanism that allows the Treasury Department to pay for costs the federal government has already incurred — or face possible default on its debt.
“It would be catastrophic for the economy,” warned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a congressional hearing this week if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by Oct. 18.
“Democrats essentially took hardworking taxpayers’ credit cards, continue to run up a massive bill by charging things they can’t afford and now are blaming Republicans who won’t help them foot the bill for these costs,” Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Hernando County) told 8 On Your Side
But not all of the expenses have been under the Biden Administration — billions were incurred under the Trump Administration.
The other two remaining pieces of legislation are mired in Democratic politics.
Progressive Democrats are vowing to vote against an infrastructure bill that has wide bipartisan support until they can get approval for a larger package that includes increased funding for health care, education and climate change.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has agreed to bring the infrastructure bill to the floor on Thursday night, setting up a high-pitched battle over the future of President Biden’s legislative agenda.