UPDATE 1-Bill to increase the debt limit could get US Senate vote next week-Sen. Durbin


(Add quotes from Senator Durbin, background)

WASHINGTON, Sept.22 (Reuters) – Democrats in the U.S. Senate are heading for a vote next week on a bill to increase Washington’s borrowing power and temporarily fund government agencies, Democrat No. ° 2 of the Dick Durbin Senate.

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

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

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his 49 colleagues have pledged to withhold their votes for this bill, which would mean it would likely be below the 60 needed to overcome the procedural hurdle.

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

Durbin added: “There comes a time when you have to accept responsibility” to avoid a US government default on its debt in the weeks to come and to provide temporary federal funding for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 in order to ‘avoid partial government closures.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; editing by Diane Craft and Mark Porter)

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