Biden White House prepares for potential government shutdown amid debt ceiling fight

According to Fox Business, senators could vote as early as Monday on legislation to raise the $28 trillion debt ceiling, which would keep the federal government funded.

Failure to pass the measure will likely result in a government shutdown, a possibility for which the Biden administration is reportedly preparing. 

“Confident” on a deal

Abdullah Hasan, who serves as a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), issued a statement to Fox Business warning of what could transpire in the coming days.

“We fully expect Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to keep our government open, get disaster relief to the Americans who need it, and avoid a catastrophic default, especially as we continue to confront the pandemic and power an economic recovery,” Hasan said.

“Consistent with longstanding practice across multiple administrations, OMB is preparing for any contingency, and determinations about specific programs are being actively reviewed by agencies,” he continued.

Hasan added: “More importantly, there is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, and we are confident they will do so.”

Fox Business noted that “all but four Republican senators have promised to vote against” raising the debt ceiling, adding that “Democrats would need to secure the support of at least 10 GOP lawmakers to overcome a filibuster.”

“Taking every step”

Just the News reported that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had also addressed the possibility of a shutdown during a briefing on Thursday.

“We are taking every step we can to mitigate the impacts of a potential shutdown,” Psaki said.

“We’re seven days out and we need to be prepared, of course, in any event of any contingency, so we see this as a routine step and one just to be prepared in any event of what could happen,” she continued.

As Fox Business explained in July, the term “debt ceiling” refers to “the legal limit on the total amount of debt that the federal government can accrue.”

“If Congress is unable to increase the debt limit, the Treasury would enter uncharted territory, incapable of paying bills — including payments to Social Security beneficiaries, government employees or service members — since it would have no cash on hand.”

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