Democrats fight to prevent US government shutdown and default

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Co-religionists of the US president, Joe Biden, sought to avoid a government shutdown and a potentially crippling credit default on the country on Tuesday, while also trying to reach an agreement on a massive spending and tax package aimed at the president’s ambitious social policy agenda.

Democrats had hoped to avoid a partial government shutdown and lift the federal debt ceiling with a single vote. But they were blocked on Monday in the Senate by Republicans, who said the two issues should be dealt with separately.

This Tuesday, Democrats acted to deal with these points on their own.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he would try to hold a vote to raise the debt limit, which could be passed only with the support of the 48 House Democrats and the two independents allied with them.

But Republicans have yet to agree to vote first, and several party members have said they are opposed to that idea.