Senate Republicans won’t vote for legislation to raise the debt limit if President Joe Biden and Democrats try to “ram” through a $3.5 trillion spending and tax reform proposal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is warning.
Democrats plan to use the budget reconciliation process to advance a sweeping spending bill without GOP votes, but McConnell on Thursday pushed back, The Hill reported.
“Let me make something perfectly clear: If they don’t need or want our input, they won’t get our help,” he said, The Hill reported. “They won’t get our help with the debt limit increase … that these reckless plans will require.”
The GOP leader said Democrats must get significant Republican input on the shape and scope of the budget reconciliation bill before there will be a consensus on extending the federal government’s borrowing authority, which expired at the end of July, The Hill reported.
That input would force a scaling down of the Democrat plan to raise taxes and invest in “human infrastructure,” The Hill noted, adding it’s more likely Democrats will stick to their original plan to pass a massive $3.5 trillion package to invest in social programs, combat climate change and raise corporate taxes and put pressure on Republicans to support a debt limit increase anyway.
McConnell said Democrats will be voting alone to raise the debt limit.
“I could not be more clear. They have the ability — they control the White House, they control the House, they control the Senate. They can raise the debt ceiling and if it’s raised, they will do it,” he said.
He likened the expectation that Republicans will support a debt ceiling increase to someone going on an ordering spree at a restaurant and then trying to later split the check with those who ate and drank far less.
“Democrats want a new debt limit increase for the new borrowing and the new spending that they willfully piled up since they took power — about $2 trillion back in March, trillions sometime soon,” McConnell said, The Hill reported.
“They want to unleash another reckless taxing and spending spree with zero Republican input [but] oh, when the bill comes, they say it’s time to split the check.”
According to The Hill, Senate Republicans have discussed attaching spending curbs modeled on the 2011 Budget Control Act, which imposed across-the-board caps on discretionary spending.
They have also talked about the Trust Act, sponsored by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, to establish special committees to draft legislation addressing the long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare, The Hill reported.
But McConnell’s previous warning that Senate Republicans wouldn’t vote for any proposal to raise the debt limit without attached spending reforms drew Democrats’ outrage, The Hill reported,
“The leader’s statements on debt ceiling are shameless, cynical and totally political,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said at the time, The Hill reported. “This debt is [former president Donald] Trump debt. It’s COVID debt.”
Democrats familiar with negotiations on the budget resolution, which Schumer plans to bring to the floor in a few days, said there has been hardly any discussion about including language to raise the debt ceiling, The Hill reported.
The two-year suspension of the debt ceiling expired July 30 and the Treasury Department has used so-called extraordinary measures to allow the federal government to keep paying its obligations.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has already warned the extraordinary measures would be expired by the end of September.
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