Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans won’t help Democrats one bit in raising the debt ceiling.
"I can’t imagine there will be a single Republican voting to raise the debt ceiling after what we’ve been experiencing," McConnell told Punchbowl News on Tuesday night in the Capitol.
"I can’t imagine a single Republican in this environment that we’re in now — this free-for-all for taxes and spending — to vote to raise the debt limit," the Kentucky lawmaker added. "I think the answer is they need to put it in the reconciliation bill."
The debt ceiling deadline is at the end of July and Congress needs to vote to either raise or suspend it. Failure to act before the congressional recess in August could risk default.
Much like a personal credit card maximum, the debt ceiling is the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow to meet its obligations. These range from paying military salaries and IRS tax refunds to Social Security benefits and even interest payments on the debt.
Since the government spends more than it receives in revenues, it keeps operating by borrowing more and more.
"Every time, it's messy," said the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Mike Crapo, when asked about the process of adjusting the debt limit. He noted that in his nearly three decades in Congress he had pushed for spending cuts in those negotiations, adding in a brief interview that he would be seeking cuts again.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in June warned that she may not have many options if Congress doesn’t act in time.
"It’s possible that we could reach that point while Congress is out in August," she said, referring to lawmakers’ annual summer recess. "I think defaulting on the national debt should be regarded as unthinkable."
"I believe it would precipitate a financial crisis: It would threaten the jobs and savings of Americans at a time when we’re still recovering from the Covid pandemic," she added. "I would plead with Congress simply to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting to raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible."
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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