(CNN)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats that a vote on raising the debt ceiling could come as soon as Tuesday, a source in the Democratic caucus meeting told CNN.
While the move has not been made official yet, it would force Republicans to vote directly on the contentious issue as GOP lawmakers continue to insist that Democrats should act alone to address the debt limit.Pelosi signaled during the same meeting that Democrats are going to decouple the stopgap funding bill known as a continuing resolution to fund the government from the provision to raise the debt ceiling, according to a source in the meeting.This move would likely avoid a government shutdown because Republicans have said they will not vote for the stop-gap bill if it includes the debt ceiling provision. Government funding is scheduled to run at midnight ET on Thursday night. Pelosi told reporters after the meeting that “it’s among our plans” for Democrats to move a clean debt ceiling bill Tuesday.Read More”We have a number of things — lift the debt ceiling, keep government open, we have to do those imminently,” she said. Congress is facing two fast-approaching deadlines on fiscal issues and lawmakers have yet to resolve either. Government funding will run out by the end of the week on September 30, and a debt ceiling crisis is looming as Congress may only have until mid-October to act before the federal government can no longer pay its bills.Here are the key dates to watch:
September 30: Government funding expires at midnight, which could trigger a shutdown.Mid-October: The government reaches its borrowing limit, which could trigger a first-ever US default and a self-inflicted economic crisis if the US is unable to pay all its bills on time. It could delay federal payments, including Social Security checks and monthly child tax credit payments.
Congressional Democrats, in control of both the House and Senate, initially attempted to pass legislation addressing both issues at the same time. The bill passed out of the House last week, but Senate Republicans on Monday blocked the measure to suspend the debt limit and avert a government shutdown. Senate Republicans have said they would support passage of a clean stopgap spending measure without the debt limit attached to it.House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer acknowledged on Tuesday that the use of reconciliation — a process that could allow Democrats to lift the debt ceiling without GOP votes — is an option on the table, but also said that Democrats can try passing a clean bill to address the debt limit.”It is not an alternative not to back the full faith and credit of the United States so we may have to use reconciliation. I think that would be a sad statement of Republican irresponsibility,” Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, said. “Reconciliation is one option and that’s on the table. There are other options on the table also and that’s passing back to them a clean bill that they can move relatively quickly on the hope that perhaps hopefully some Republicans, at least 10 Republicans, decide the full faith and credit of the United States of America is more important than getting a political advantage.”House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said Democrats are still weighing the options for how they will raise the debt ceiling if it does in fact get separated from the continuing resolution to fund the government.”I think we had a discussion, as the speaker may have indicated, that was pretty extensive about a few different options that are in front of us in terms of the debt limit. We are not going to default on the full faith and credit of the United States of America. That’s an iron-clad guarantee” Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, said.This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.