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Senate Republicans block bill to avert government shutdown

Senate Republicans on Monday evening blocked a measure passed by the House last week that would fund the government and suspend the federal debt ceiling.

Before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the GOP does not want Democrats and President Biden to have the ability to spend more money as they pursue their policy changes. "We will support a clean continuing resolution that will prevent a government shutdown," McConnell said. "We will not provide Republican votes for raising the debt limit."

If a bill to fund the government isn't passed by midnight Thursday, some federal agencies won't be operational on Friday morning, and if the debt ceiling isn't raised by mid-October, the U.S. could default on its debt, a catastrophic event that may lead to another recession and the destabilization of global markets, The Washington Post reports. 

Democrats have pushed back at McConnell and the GOP stance about the country's debts, saying that the $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package was passed by a bipartisan vote last year, and the two parties worked together to raise the debt ceiling during the Trump administration, even when Democrats did not agree with Trump's policies.

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard on Monday urged lawmakers to take action ahead of the critical deadlines. "Congress knows what it needs to do," Brainard said. "It needs to step up. ... [The] American people have had enough drama."