Congress has run out of time to stop a shutdown or default.
Sen. Republicans blocked Monday's bill to fund the government and suspend U.S. debt ceiling. Democrats are scrambling for ways to avoid an economic disaster.
The House passed legislation that would have funded the government until December and lifted the U.S. debt ceiling until December next year. This was after the midterm congressional election.
To avoid a shutdown, lawmakers must approve funding for the government before Friday. According to the Treasury Department, the U.S. is at risk of default if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by a point likely to occur in October.
The measure was opposed by every House Republican. However, the Senate GOP refused to allow Democrats to suspend the debt limit. All Republican senators voted against the legislation in a 48-50 vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted against the legislation as a procedural move to allow him to bring it up later.
Democrats must now make a series of complex maneuvers to avoid an unpredictable sequence of events that could destroy the economy and cost millions of Americans jobs. They may be forced by the Republican opposition to pass a short term funding bill with GOP support. Then they could approve a debt limit suspension for themselves potentially as part their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan.
Schumer stated after the vote that "The Republican Party has established itself as the party in default"