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White House is preparing for a potential shutdown as leaders grapple with crucial deadlines, Biden agenda

With deadlines looming, the White House is preparing for a shutdown

September 28, 2021: -Democrats in Congress scrambled to beat a string of deadlines that hold massive stakes for the health of the U.S. economy and the President sweeping economic plan of Biden.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., aiming to work their way out of multiple binds as they prevent a government shutdown, a default on U.S. debt, and the collapse of domestic ambitions of Biden.

The leaders find themselves staring at a September 30 deadline to pass an appropriations bill before government funding lapses. The White House began to advise federal agencies to prepare for the first government shutdown of the Covid-19 era.

The administration’s Office of Management and Budget has taken steps to let department and agency leaders know that they are expected to execute shutdown planning to start late next week, barring a new appropriations bill. For agencies, those planning often include sending workers home.

The office asks agencies seven days before a government shutdown to update their plans. It will share a draft template each department can use to update government employees on congressional efforts to pass a funding bill and how many workers may need to be furloughed.

The communication does not reflect the office’s views on a continuing resolution is or not and is viewed as more of a formal duty.

Efforts to pass a new budget are underway on Capitol Hill, where House Democrats approved a measure to fund the government, suspend the debt ceiling and support emergency aid like disaster relief.

That proposal is expected to stall in the Senate, where Republicans are unanimous in opposition to any bill which seeks to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.

Democrats are on tight economic timelines. Few are self-imposed, such as Pelosi’s promise to hold a vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on or before September 27, and the Senate has already passed the measure.

But there are other, standing deadlines. Congress must pass a new budget by the end of September, avoiding a shutdown; lawmakers must also figure out a way to increase or suspend the debt ceiling by a to be determined “drop-dead” date.

Treasury officials estimate that lawmakers have some point in October before the U.S. defaults on its debt for the first time.

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