Unanimous consent would allow Democrats to raise the debt limit with 50 votes
Schumer will later this afternoon ask the Senate for unanimous consent to allow the debt limit to be raised with a 50-vote majority instead of the 60 votes currently required. Vice President Kamala Harris will cast a vote of approval in the event of a tie.
The unanimous consent would prevent Democrats from revising the budget proposal to include a debt limit increase.
US debt limit could be reached by mid-October, suggests analysis
“So if Republicans want to run from their responsibilities — by voting not to pay off the debt they’ve owed — so be it,” Schumer said. “It’s a bad thing, it’s a bad precedent. But this is the way.”
Schumer says that using unanimous consent would be the same process Republicans used to raise the debt limit in 2006 with a simple majority.
Representative Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Granthshala Business that minority leaders could address the issue later on Tuesday.
Schumer’s remarks came just after a testy exchange between Republican Senator Joe Kennedy of Louisiana and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
Kennedy asked Yellen why Democrats don’t use a budget solution to raise the debt limit on their own.
Yellen said raising the debt limit is a “shared responsibility” and that Democrats have voted for an increase in the past when Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress and reconciliations were in the process.
If the debt limit is not raised, the US government is on track to run out of money between October 15 and November 4.
America has never defaulted on its debt. However, as a result of the 2011 debt ceiling fight, rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US debt rating by a notch.
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Failing to raise the debt limit would eventually result in the US defaulting on its obligations, which could lead to a sharp rise in interest rates and adversely affect the economy.
Yellen said it would be “disastrous” for Congress not to raise the debt limit.