At Issue: Oct. 17 — Democrats struggling to pass Biden spending priorities

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Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House but are struggling to pass President Joe Biden’s package of spending priorities. This week, the U.S. House approved a measure that extended the government’s debt limit into December, which has at least one Minnesota lawmaker concerned that it’s just putting off the inevitable.

"Once again, an embarrassing display of a lack of thoughtful leadership," Rep. Dean Phillips (D-3rd District) told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "We were able to extend it to December but I’m sure we will be back here with the same brinksmanship and same precipice and the same playing with fire that we can ill-afford in this country."

Phillips warned of "deep trouble" if Congress can’t lift the debt limit – or find an agreement. But the Democrat, in his second term, said Republicans have to find common ground with the majority, likening it to the time House Democrats allowed the Republican-controlled Trump White House to increase the country’s spending.

In the Senate, where Democrats hold a one-vote advantage, Phillips said that even though two Democrats are holding up the President’s key legislative priorities, the so-called most deliberative body is working how it should.

"It’s also the way our system was constructed, which I think is the most effective system of governance in the world as long as we populate it with people of principle," Phillips said. "Frankly, this is how Congress is actually supposed to operate, so it is not a disappointment but I think it’s an opportunity. I am eager to see it reach its conclusion because I think the country needs to see Congress come together."