Majority leader: Senate will stay in session until debt-ceiling bill is passed

The Senate will remain in session every day, including weekends, until passage of a bill that resolves a dispute on raising the federal debt ceiling, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced on Monday.

"The Senate has no more important task than making sure the United States does not fail to pay our bills for pre-existing obligations like Social Security for the first time in our history," Reid said in a news release.

"To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Senate will stay in session every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, from now until Congress passes legislation that prevents the United States from defaulting on our obligations," Reid said.

The move is no major surprise. Reid has argued that Congress lacks adequate time to draft, score, and pass a bill now, because of the failure to reach a deal by the end of last week. The expanded schedule will give the slow-moving Senate four or more days to legislate before the August 2 deadline set by the Treasury Department for a debt-ceiling increase.

The most likely solution to the dilemma now is a joint proposal by Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., under which Congress would grant President Obama power to raise the debt ceiling in three steps totaling $2.5 trillion if a supermajority in each chamber does not ultimately object.

Under a scenario sketched by Senate aides, the Senate would pass the plan and send it to the House, which would add cuts more or less agreed on in talks among congressional leaders and the White House totaling perhaps $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The bill would then return to the Senate for final passage.

The deal could also include creation of bipartisan panel with power to recommend deficit cuts that would get expedited consideration and a two-year spending freeze.

But the ping-pong nature of the plan to enact the proposal leaves time short. And conservatives in the Senate, particularly Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., have threatened to filibuster the plan, which would extend the time required.

Even with weekends used, Congress will be hard-pressed to clear a deal by August 2, aides said, especially with this week devoted to a votes on a conservative "cut, cap, and balance" plan and a balanced-budget amendment that cannot pass the Senate.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.