A highlight from Congress Avoids a Government Shutdown 2021-10-01
Listening to the takeaway. I'm melissa harris. Perry and it has been a busy week on capitol hill for the past few days. Congress has been racing to avoid government. Shutdown thursday was the final day for lawmakers to pass a funding bill to prevent the government from that fate and at the last moment the house and senate passed a stopgap measure before the midnight deadline. Also this week the future of president. Joe biden's massive trillion dollar infrastructure. Bill remains uncertain democratic party leaders are struggling to strike a deal with more progressive members of their party who said they wouldn't vote on infrastructure until they reached a deal on the proposed three point five trillion dollar social policy package here to break all this down our nicholas woo congressional reporter for politico and pablo mun rica's who is capitol hill correspondent for latino rebels. Welcome to you both x melissa. Thank you so pablo want to start with you. Tell us about this. Stopgap spending package that was passed on thursday. Of what does it cover. And how long. How long has it keeping the door. Propped open as i understand. It keeps the door open. Till until december so the government will remain funded until then so people will get their paychecks and that makes a lot of government workers really happy but it also confuses the american people all. Because it's like what are we doing here. Do we not have enough money. Do we have enough money. So yeah i think that it i think. The republicans have created a lot of confusion for the sake of creating confusion and making it the guy. The democrats have a problem governing and nicholas part of what this december date obviously does is. It creates a holidays situation right. So there's a a certain politics to this question of are you going to. Are you going to shut it all down just before. The great holiday spending season begins. And i'm wondering this treasury secretary. Janet yellen said she favors removing the debt. Ceiling from congress's control altogether. Is that the only way we're going to like just makes mask actual fiscal policy cents. Instead of this constantly being a political battle that you know in ideal world congress would be able to pass in annual spending. Bill may be able to deal with the debt issues on their own. They would be able to. Just come to bipartisan compromise. And all that. That's not really what we've seen here in. You mentioned known necessarily wanting to shut down the government before the holidays but they they've done that before too and so They've really done. Here is kick the can to the beginning of december at least with the government funding issue the debt issue is still entitled. Unresolved i mean. The house passed its own measure to address the debt ceiling but at the same time. Republicans in the senate say that they don't want to raise the debt ceiling It will rotaries the debt ceiling On this kind of standalone measure. So i mean yeah. They were really square one year. And it's unclear exactly how they're going to resolve the issue for now nicholas. Can the democrats do it unilaterally Or will they have to have republicans on board in order to raise that ceiling. There's a little bit of dispute over that so to try to. There's a couple of ways they could try doing this. They could try passing it through an ordinary bill. But then you still run into the filibuster you know that. Procedural measure in the senate that requires we ten republicans to sign onto a bill. That's unlikely to happen. So there's a separate process that they could use Called reconciliation which would only require a simple majority in the senate to pass a debt ceiling increase or other kinds of fiscal measures. But the problem is there That that takes a lot of time to actually draw up and run through the process of creating a budget and so on and so forth and at least for now democratic leaders in both chambers have pretty much ruled that out saying that they just don't have the time to try doing it alone and so know it's a very classic washington issue riley. They're gonna put try to put something up and see who. Blinks first so probably. Let's switch gears a little bit and let's talk about infrastructure. Bill remind us of kind of what is in that sucker. There's so much in that sucker and the war going. On between within the democratic party over the infrastructure bill is fascinating because you have this group of moderates and they want it infrastructure. Bill vote prior to the reconciliation. Bill vote that The the reconciliation bill that nicholas mentioned so what happened. This week is that progressive said and they've been saying this for about three months that they will not vote they will not vote for a infrastructure. Vote that comes before reconciliation vote. Now the reconciliation vote. Bill has its this huge spending measure that basically the essence of joe biden social agenda for his presidency. You know you have a lot of things in there from the child tax credit to every type of progressive Pipe dream of the last few years and for the first time since the obamacare vote back in the day. Progressives didn't balk now. I'm old enough to remember when the public option was a raging debate in washington. Everybody was talking about the public option.