U.S. House passes bill to avoid government shutdown

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent a federal government shutdown and suspend the debt limit on government borrowing into December 2022.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where the Senate Republicans have vowed to block it.

The Democratic-controlled House passed the bill by a party-line vote of 220 to 211. The legislation would keep federal government agencies operating through Dec. 3 after current government funding is set to lapse at the end of September.

The Democratic leaders are pressuring the Republicans to support the debt-limit increase.

However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that Republicans would help pass a short-term government funding bill only if Democrats separate it from a plan to suspend the debt limit through 2022.

“We will not support legislation that raises the debt limit,” McConnell said.

Last month, 46 Republican senators signed a letter pledging not to help Democrats raise the debt ceiling, raising the risk of U.S. defaulting on its obligations in the fall.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that, U.S. economic recovery would reverse into recession if the Congress fails to swiftly raise the federal debt limit.

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Kamila/Xinhua

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