With the U.S Government staring down yet another potential shutdown, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, spoke Monday on the Senate floor urging Democrats to adopt a bipartisan continuing resolution, introduced last week, to fund the federal government through Dec. 3. 2021.
The bill, co-authored with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, would also give federal aid to areas affected by severe storms and deliver funds to assist the Afghanistan withdrawal crisis. The “Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act” also includes funding for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system.
“The Republican leader has been very clear. We will not support any effort to increase the debt limit. This is not complicated,” Shelby said on the Senate floor Monday. “There is a simple solution. Take up and pass a bill that was negotiated on a bipartisan, bicameral basis which has support on both sides of the aisle. A bill that keeps the government open, provides much-needed disaster assistance to storm-ravaged areas of our country, and delivers the aid necessary to address the Afghanistan withdrawal crisis.”
On Monday, Senate Republicans blocked a funding bill for the federal government that passed the House the previous week. If a measure is not adopted by Sept. 30, the government and federal agencies will shut down. By mid-October, if the debt ceiling doesn’t rise, the U.S. could default on its debts for the first time in history, destabilizing domestic and global markets.
“If we don’t take that path, I believe my colleagues on the other side of the aisle owe the American people answers,” Shelby said. “The majority can reverse course and put us back on track by immediately passing the Shelby-McConnell bill. It will keep the government open and provide much-needed emergency funding. That is the bill we should be considering. I urge the majority to do so.”