The Democrats' nightmare September: Schumer and Pelosi race to sign Biden's $3.5T budget, the infrastructure bill, vote on the debt ceiling and prepare to fight the GOP over voting rights

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are preparing for nightmare September where they try to negotiate the details of Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion budget, pass an infrastructure bill, raise the debt ceiling and fight over voting rights.

It begins this week when congressional committees meet to begin formally drafting the president's ambitious social policy program but the passage of the trillion-dollar program is not guaranteed.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin called for a 'pause' on the legislating, saying he could not support the $3.5 trillion price tag. And, in the 50-50 split Senate, Democrats need every member of the party to vote for it. 

'Obviously, I don't agree,' Pelosi told CNN on Tuesday of Manchin's 'pause' call. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (above) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are preparing for nightmare September on Capitol Hill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are preparing for nightmare September on Capitol Hill

She said the price tag wouldn't go above the $3.5 trillion but shrugged off a question if she'd have to lower it to appease Manchin and Senate moderates.

'Well you have to go talk to the Senate about that, but we're going to pay for as much of it as possible,' she said. 

The ambitious legislation would be the biggest overhaul in social policy since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs. Biden's plan includes expanded Medicare, new programs to combat climate change, raising taxes on the wealthy, free pre-K and community college, a change in immigration policy to make it easier on Dreamers to become citizens, and boosting federal programs that aid low-income families and children 

Congress is also facing the looming debt ceiling, national voting rights legislation, and a fight over abortion in the wake of the new Texas law. 

Pelosi acknowledged the packed agenda.

'So we have reconciliation, infrastructure, CR and someplace in there we'll do debt ceiling,' she said as she left the House floor on Tuesday. 

Pelosi has already vowed to bring up abortion rights legislation when the House returns later this month after the Supreme Court upheld a new Texas law that is the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation.  

'Upon our return, the House will bring up Congresswoman Judy Chu's Women's Health Protection Act to enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America,' Pelosi said last week, referring to legislation that would codify Roe v. Wade.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is negotiating details of the budget plan among his Democratic senators and trying to pass national voting rights legislation

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is negotiating details of the budget plan among his Democratic senators and trying to pass national voting rights legislation

President Joe Biden walks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as he tours a neighborhood impacted by flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida

President Joe Biden walks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as he tours a neighborhood impacted by flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida

Meanwhile, national legislation to expand voting rights is stalled on Capitol Hill with Senate Democrats unable to break the 60-vote threshold to advance the legislation. And they unable to eliminate that legislative filibuster because of opposition in their own party.

Additionally, Republicans have already vowed to not help raise the debt ceiling. Senate Democrats need at least 10 GOP votes to pass such a measure or the government would default on its debt.  

The clock is ticking. Government funding runs out at the end of the month - about the same time Treasury is expected to hit the debt limit.

As lawmakers craft the president's ambitious $3.5 trillion budget plan, Democrats are already warring with one another over what to include in it at what level of funding, including the expansion of Medicare and paid family leave. 

Progressive argue Democrats need to take advantage of having control of both the House and the Senate to pass an even bigger package. 

Outside groups are also urging progressive lawmakers to prepare for a heated intra-party fight on the legislation.    

Senators are scheduled to return to Washington on Monday, but will only be in session for three days because of Yom Kippur. The House is set to return on Sept. 20. 

 Schumer has given his committees a September 15 deadline to finalize their part of the spending package. Then it will have to be negotiated among Senate Democrats, including Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, both of whom have expressed concern about the price tag. 

A number of House committees are meeting ahead of the chamber's return to work out details on their end. 

Meanwhile, House moderates got an agreement to bring the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill up for a vote by Sept. 27.

But Democrats are still trying to lock down how to pay for the package, bridge divisions on shoring up the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicare, draft immigration reform language and iron out sections on climate change.

Meanwhile, White House Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Shalanda Young called for Congress to approve a short-term extension to fund the government so that there isn't a shutdown on October 1. 

A short-term CR (continuing resolution) is a band-aid solution to keep the government from shutting down as Democrats try to move forward an the infrastructure bill and spending package at the center of Biden's economic agenda. 

'We are also calling on Congress to include additional funding in a CR to help address two other urgent needs: responding to recent and ongoing natural disasters, and meeting our commitments to our Afghan allies and partners,' Young said in a letter to lawmakers.