Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told colleagues Thursday he will keep the Senate in session for as long as it takes to pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling and send it to President Biden’s desk, warning the “X-date” when the nation faces default is “less than four days away.”
“We will keep working until the job is done. Time is a luxury the Senate does not have,” he said.
The House passed the bill, which President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) unveiled over the weekend, by a vote of 314 to 117. It would extend the federal debt limit through Jan. 1, 2025.
“At this point, any needless delay or any last-minute holdups would be an unnecessary and even dangerous risk, and any change to this bill that forces us to send it back to the House would be entirely unacceptable,” Schumer said on the floor.
Several senators are pushing for amendments to the bill, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Kaine wants to add language to the bill to strip a provision that would speed approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that would run through West Virginia and Virginia.
Paul wants an amendment to impose 5 percent across-the-board cuts to all on-budget spending over the next two years.
Lee wants to strike a provision in the debt bill that would allow Biden’s budget director to waive pay-as-you-go requirements for federal agencies that draft new rules that would add more than $100 million to the deficit in a single year.
Braun wants an amendment to penalize lawmakers if they fail to pass the annual appropriations bills on time.
Senate sources say Graham wants to offer an amendment related to defense spending.
Schumer said Thursday morning he hopes that senators’ desire to vote on amendments doesn’t delay the bill.
“I hope we see a genuine desire to keep this process moving quickly. I hope we see nothing even approaching brinksmanship. The country cannot afford that right now,” he said.