Congress is Running out of Time

Congress is Running out of Time

As we’ve previously reported, the Senate will return for votes starting on September 15 while the House won’t be back to begin voting until September 20.  Various Congressional committees are back at work this week, however.

With the end of the 2021 fiscal year on Sept. 30 fast approaching, they face a massive workload if they hope to finish by then.  Technically, they are supposed to pass legislation funding the federal government for fy2022.  No one expects that will happen but they still must pass a “continuing resolution” which will keep the government going for an additional period, giving them time to pass the new budget.  If they don’t do that the government will shut down.

Then they must raise the debt ceiling so the government can borrow more money to pay its bills.

A government shut down, while causing some problems, isn’t as bad as breaching the debt ceiling. That's known as a “technical default,” as some government obligations won’t be met on time depending on how long the stalemate lasts. The Treasury Department would have to rely on whatever cash is left on hand and daily revenue inflows.

The first day of each month — when big payments go out for Medicare reimbursements, military salaries, veterans’ benefits, pensions for military and civilian federal employees and more — is particularly bad. The third day of each month and Wednesdays, when Social Security benefits go out, aren’t great either. Interest payments to Treasury's creditors go out on the 15th and at the end of each month of beginning of the next.

Obviously, action on those legislative matters are of great concern to TSCL and to seniors in general.