As the debt-limit negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders enter their final stretch, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Monday that the Senate will not recess until Congress passes a deal to raise the country’s borrowing limit.
“The Senate has no more important task than making sure the United States does not fail to pay our bills for pre-existing obligations like Social Security for the first time in our history,” Reid said in a statement Monday afternoon. “To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Senate will stay in session every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, from now until Congress passes legislation that prevents the United States from defaulting on our obligations.”
The Senate is set to meet at 2 p.m. Monday, while the House — which canceled its scheduled recess this week in light of the ongoing debt-ceiling negotiations — convened at noon and is expected to hold votes Monday evening.
Reid’s move comes as the negotiations over the debt ceiling enter their final two weeks. The White House has said that leaders must agree on a deal by July 22 — this Friday — to give both chambers time to move the legislation before Aug. 2, the deadline by which Congress must vote to raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit or else the country will default on its debt obligations.
Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have been making progress on a deal that would allow the debt ceiling to be raised and would enact $1.5 trillion in deficit savings; the plan would also call for the formation of a 12-member bipartisan committee to identify additional deficit savings by the end of the year. Leaders in both chambers have not shut the door to such a deal, although rank-and-file Republicans have signaled strong opposition.