Schumer says Democrats won’t use ‘complicated and risky’ reconciliation to raise debt limit
On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin appeared narrower Democrats’ option when he rejected the idea of partially denying the filibuster for the debt ceiling law, as a debt crisis inches in later this month.
“I’m very, very clear about where I stand, where I stand on Filibuster,” Manchin, DW.VA, said. “Nothing’s changing.”
And with that, the Democrats lacked the votes to officially raise the debt limit with the nuclear option—using 50 votes to set a new precedent for Vice President Kamala Harris to set that debt limit. Law can be passed by a simple majority.
But just as that door appeared to be closing, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. indicated that he would be another open to Democrats if they are willing to walk through it.
A vote to raise the debt limit fails Wednesday in the Senate, as Congress marches toward a crisis
He said the GOP would be willing to ease the budget reconciliation process for Democrats if they demanded the GOP use it to raise the debt ceiling.
Republicans have been saying since July that they will not vote to raise the debt limit and are calling on Democrats to use a reconciliation process to raise it. They see it as a protest against the fact that Democrats are using that process to pass trillions in spending along party lines.
“This year, Democrats have repeatedly requested new powers to reuse the reconciliation process and won. Over the past few days, Democrats in both the House and Senate have publicly acknowledged that their party is in the way of can handle the loan limit,” McConnell said.
“Our partners have plenty of time to get this done before the earliest anticipated deadline,” he said. “There will likely be time agreements to wrap this up well before any danger.”
What if Congress fails to raise the debt limit?
This would mean that, perhaps, Republicans wouldn’t force Vote-a-Rama all night and could procedurally help speed things up, even if they didn’t take a vote in favor of raising the debt limit.
Lindsey Graham, R.C., also appeared open to that possibility in separate comments Wednesday.
“The point is, we’re not trying, or at least I’m not trying to burn down the place,” Graham said. Instead, he said, the GOP wants to make a point about allegedly out-of-control spending by Democrats.
“If you want to spend that much money, which is a historic amount, and not just on roads and bridges and ports, you’re not going to get any help from me to widen the deficit,” he said.
The rub, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., has said repeatedly that he is not considering raising the debt limit through conciliation.
“Reconciliation is a drawn-out, complicated and risky process with defaults and downgrades looming over us,” Schumer said on Wednesday.
But there are still 12 days left for America to default on its debt. And either Republicans or Democrats will soon have to cave or Congress will have no choice but to avoid economic catastrophe.
Granthshala Business’ Jason Donner contributed to this report.