Last night, U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) voted in favor a H.R. 5305, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act. The pivotal piece of legislation would fund the federal government through December 3, 2021 and includes two emergency supplemental funding bills that provide $28.6 billion in relief for recent natural disasters--including Hurricane Ida, wildfires, severe droughts and more--and $6.3 billion to support Afghan evacuees in American facilities and in foreign countries. The bill also includes provisions to suspend the debt limit through December 2022 to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by ensuring the federal government can fulfill the financial obligations it has already made.
"At a time when COVID-19 is taking the lives of 2,000 Americans every day, millions more are still searching for work, and communities across the country are rebuilding from natural disasters, Congress cannot allow for a government shutdown or a default of the United States," said Congressman Cleaver. "Political brinksmanship and cheap political points will not help families who have been decimated by hurricanes, flooding, or wildfires. As representatives, we have a responsibility to our constituents to put their needs before our politics, and while this bill is certainly not perfect, I was proud to support today's legislation to ensure the federal government can continue to combat the COVID pandemic, keep programs running that working class Americans rely on, and support those who have been devastated by climate-exacerbated natural disasters."
Congress has a deadline of September 30 to fund the federal government, with a failure to do so resulting in a government shutdown. Additionally, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has previously stated that the federal government will be unable to pay its bills by mid- to late October if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. According to a study from Moody's Analytics, failure to raise the debt ceiling would cost the U.S. economy up to 6 million jobs, erase up to $15 trillion in household wealth, raise the unemployment rate to roughly 9 percent, and immediately pull the American economy into a recession.
"My Republican colleagues, with the help of Democrats in Congress, voted to raise the debt ceiling three times under the Trump administration, who added nearly $8 trillion to the national debt--$2 trillion of which was a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and giant corporations, passed through the reconciliation process with zero input from Democrats," said Congressman Cleaver. "A vote against raising the debt ceiling is a vote to withhold pay for our men and women in uniform, desperately needed benefits for our veterans, and social security for millions of seniors. This is a shared responsibility that has garnered bipartisan support for decades, and I sincerely hope that my friends across the aisle won't play politics with the lives and livelihoods of the American people by withholding support to raise the debt ceiling."