Infrastructure Caught in Bill Crush as Lawmakers Return to Capitol

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The infrastructure bill, U.S. debt and government funding are all at stake as lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. after weeks away. The Senate returned Monday from its August recess. The House will follow the upper chamber back to the Capitol next Monday, September 20.

Lawmakers will need to rush to meet critical deadlines in the coming weeks, according to CNBC. The speed at which Congress works will determine if the infrastructure bill is passed, whether the federal government shuts down and if the U.S. defaults on its debts.

A congressional logjam looms. Here are some of the measures at issue:

Infrastructure: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised centrist Democrats she will hold a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan measure that contains $65 billion in broadband infrastructure deployment grants by September 27. The promise is non-binding, Inside Towers reported and politics within her caucus could delay the timing. 

Democrats’ reconciliation bill: Pelosi hopes to approve an up-to $3.5 trillion plan that invests in social programs and climate policy in conjunction with the infrastructure bill. But the House, Senate and White House are still writing the text.   

Government funding: Lawmakers need to pass an appropriations bill by September 30 to prevent a government shutdown.

Debt ceiling: The U.S. could default on its obligations in October if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. Democrats are deciding how to accomplish this or suspend the limit by themselves after Republicans said they would not join the effort, according to CNBC.

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