WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The third-ranking U.S. Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer on Sunday said the upper chamber of Congress will pass a budget this year, days before the Republican- led House of Representatives consider voting on a bill to extend the nation's debt limit by three months.
The budget from the Democratic-controlled Senate will also include new revenues to help bring down the nation's mounting debt, Schumer said in an interview with the NBC, evidence of further battle on how to rein in the government deficit.
Backing down from their hard-line stance on increasing the debt ceiling with accompanying steep spending cuts, top Republican lawmakers including GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Friday that the House would vote on a bill in coming days to extend the nation's borrowing authority by three months in order to force the Senate to pass a budget to cut government outlays.
The GOP proposal was a "positive step", but the period should be longer as the United States can not fight over a "fiscal cliff" every three months. It makes no sense to cause a loss of full faith in U.S. credit due to fiscal battles, Schumer said.
The U.S. federal government reached its debt limit of 16.4 trillion U.S. dollars on Dec. 31, 2012, and the Treasury Department was taking extraordinary measures to temporarily postpone the date of a possible default. The U.S. government is expected to run out of ways to meet all of its obligations between mid-February and early March.
For the last four years, Senate Democrats have refused to move a government budget plan to the Senate floor for a vote, in violation of the Budget Act of 1974. For the last two years, House GOP lawmakers approved budget blueprints with drastic spending cuts. But without Senate's cooperation to produce a budget agreed by two chambers, these plans were only symbolic political statements.