Bill to hike debt limit could get U.S. Senate vote next week-Sen. Durbin By Reuters

Bill to hike debt limit could get U.S. Senate vote next week-Sen. Durbin By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen as the sun sets on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Democrats in the U.S. Senate are navigating toward a vote next week on a bill to raise Washington’s borrowing authority and temporarily fund government agencies, No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin said on Wednesday.

Durbin, speaking to reporters, did not say what Senate Democrats would do next if Republicans, as expected, block that bill, which passed the House of Representatives late on Tuesday.

A procedural motion to bring the House-passed bill onto the Senate floor is expected sometime next week, Durbin said.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his 49 colleagues have vowed to withhold their votes for that bill, which would mean that it likely would fall short of the 60 needed to clear the procedural hurdle.

Asked about that prospect, Durbin said: “At this point we have a strategy, which we think will bring the Republican votes.”

Durbin added, “There comes a point where you have to accept responsibility” for avoiding a U.S. government default on its debt in coming weeks and provide temporary federal funding for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1 in order to avoid partial government shutdowns.

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