Returning from their Thanksgiving break, Democrats in Congress have challenges ahead of them as the nation inches toward a Friday deadline to avert a government shutdown and a Dec. 15 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. The first hurdle for Democrats to vault in their first week back will be to avert a government shutdown, which will come on Dec. 3, Friday, if a continuing resolution or stopgap funding bill is not passed to continue to fund the government. For weeks in August and September, Republicans maintained staunch opposition to helping Democrats raise the debt ceiling, but they were more open to helping to push off a government shutdown. GOP lawmakers voted with Democrats at the end of September to extend the deadline for a government shutdown. The compromise bill, negotiated between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), extended the deadline to Dec. 3, but now …


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