Congress votes to avert government shutdown

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U.S. SENATOR ANGUS KING: "On this vote, the yeas are 65. The nays are 35. The 60-vote threshold having been achieved, the bill is passed."

Congress voted to avoid a partial government shutdown on Thursday with just hours to go before a midnight deadline, approving a stopgap bill to fund federal operations through early December.

But while one potential fiscal crisis was averted, Democrats quickly turned their attention to a much more consequential one: raising the nation's debt limit.

On Thursday, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the Republicans in the chamber, who multiple times this week blocked a bid by Democrats to prevent a potentially crippling U.S. credit default.

SCHUMER: "Just as our Republican colleagues realize that a government shutdown would be catastrophic, they should realize that a default on the national debt would be even worse... Despite Republican intransigence, the facts have not changed. We must raise the debt ceiling. We cannot allow America to default. "

Schumer said that a vote to raise the debt ceiling could come as early as next week.

On Wednesday, the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives approved a measure to raise it through the end of 2022.

PELOSI: "We are proceeding..."

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced a revolt from progressive Democrats who pushed back against President Joe Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure plan, until a larger, $3.5 trillion domestic investment bill is nailed down.

Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin complicated the effort on Thursday, saying his top line for the larger social spending bill was $1.5 trillion, a much smaller number that could not only stretch out negotiations for weeks or even longer, but also jeopardize Biden's legislative agenda entirely.