In the midst of the US federal government’s ‘stop business’ and ‘debt default’ crisis… Congress enters the final budget war

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (right) delivers a speech urging the passage of the social welfare budget in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on the 24th. Washington = AFP Yonhap News

The U.S. federal government is facing a “shutdown” crisis ahead of the fiscal year 2021 deadline (September 30). The budget war in the US Congress is coming to an end. Opinions differed on the order and size of processing, such as the social welfare budget of $3.5 trillion (about 4,110 trillion won), the infrastructure (infrastructure) budget of $1.2 trillion (about 1,410 trillion won), and the federal government debt limit increase bill. conflicting situation.

There is also growing concern that the deadline for processing the budget will be overdue due to the confrontation between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and internal conflicts within the Democratic Party. In particular, if the bill to raise the US debt ceiling is not handled, theoretically, the default (default) state default could be declared.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who holds the key to handling the budget, said in a letter to Democrats on the night of the 26th (local time), “Members will discuss the infrastructure bill in the House on the 27th, but the actual vote will be postponed to the 30th. ” announced. This is a reversal of what was originally agreed to with the Democratic centrist lawmakers to vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill on the 27th. This is in response to the fact that progressive Democratic lawmakers said they couldn’t pass the infrastructure bill until the social welfare budget, which includes paid family vacation, tuition support, and climate change response, was passed.

Earlier, Pelosi appeared on ABC in the US on the same day and said, “We will propose and review a bill on the 27th, but we will never introduce a bill that does not get votes.”

US President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters after arriving at the White House in Washington, DC, after a weekend at Camp David on the 26th. Washington = UPI Yonhap News

The situation is complicated. If the budget is not passed by the 30th, major federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), may close from October. On the 23rd, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide funding to the federal government until early December and defer the debt ceiling until December next year, but it is unclear whether it will pass the Senate, where Democrats and Republicans each share 50 seats.

In addition, the infrastructure bill, which includes the construction of transportation and communication networks, passed the Senate last month with the support of some Republican lawmakers, leaving only the House of Representatives with Democrats to pass. On the other hand, in the case of the social welfare budget, it passed the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives on the 25th, but it is not guaranteed that it will pass the Senate. Although the leadership, including President Joe Biden and Chairman Pelosi, is in the position of passing both budgets at the same time, strong opposition from Republicans and the task of persuading centrists such as Senator Joe Manchin in the Democratic Party remain.

The opposition and opposition parties are also divided over a plan to raise the U.S. government debt ceiling set by the U.S. Congress from $22.3 trillion to $28.78 trillion. If it is not processed by the middle of next month, the US Treasury may not be able to borrow additional funds. There is a need for a bipartisan solution to solve problems beyond the cubic equation.

“This week is a week as we work to keep the federal government open, close negotiations on better social welfare bills, and advance the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” Pelosi said. A compromise proposal to reduce the size of the social welfare budget while proposing a different carrot is also being discussed.

Washington = Jeong-won Jeong correspondent


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