Legislators race to avoid government shutdown

Washington

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers are working overtime this weekend as they face several legislative deadlines next week.

Democrats are preparing to pass two key parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda, avoid a government shutdown and raise the nation’s debt limit — without the help of Republicans.

On Saturday, House lawmakers on the budget committee are combing through the details of the president’s $3.5 trillion spending package.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., says Democrats will reach their goals in the next week.

“You never want to bet against Nancy Pelosi, we’re going to get there,” she said. “There’s great reason for optimism, I look forward to voting for two bills: one, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and two, our build back better bill.”

Schakowsky is one of several lawmakers working Saturday to push the president’s package forward. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is promising a vote Monday, despite her party’s division over the bill’s price tag.

“Joe Biden has put forth two bills,” Pelosi said. “It’s very important to our country.”

On Friday, Biden said he’s in contact with both the speaker and moderate Democrats who are pushing for a smaller deal.

Meanwhile, Democrats have just days to pass a plan to keep the government open and raise the debt ceiling.

Republicans like Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler are refusing to help.

“The Democrats are spending us into bankruptcy in this country and it is fueling inflation,” Hartzler said. “Their two bills next week is only going to make things worse.”

While Congress argues and votes, federal agencies are preparing for a shut down on Friday just in case.

“The administration’s efforts remain focus on preventing a shutdown and catastrophic default,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.

Kirby says the Defense Department will remain ready to defend the nation.

Despite Schakowsky’s optimism, it could be a difficulty week for Democrats. With their slim majority in the House and a 50-50 in the Senate, they will need every Democrat on board to pass the bills without Republican support.

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