McConnell Walks Back Debt Ceiling Demands, Punts to House

As recently as last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) demanded the White House agree to a list of spending cuts and deregulation in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, but it appears that plan has already collapsed.

McConnell and other top-ranking Republicans in the Senate have dropped their demands and now say they're waiting for the House to act.

“We’re going to wait and see what the House does on the subject,” McConnell told reporters. He said the Senate would “respond accordingly.” [...]

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) said there is no backup plan to move clean debt-ceiling increase in the next two weeks if the House fails to act.

“We’re waiting on the House,” he said. “That’s the plan.”

They're waiting on the House -- the leaderless House that cannot even agree if we should default or not -- and there's no backup plan.

It would be refreshing if Republicans simply agreed to raise the debt ceiling the next time it comes up rather than go through this charade of pretending to hold the ceiling hostage in exchange for spending cuts. If they wait too long to raise the ceiling, there could be financial consequences even if we don't default.

Raising the national debt ceiling is bare-minimum status quo governance but the GOP can hardly be bothered with the minimum level of responsibility that falls on Congress.

  • muselet

    If they wait too long to raise the ceiling, there could be financial consequences even if we don’t default.

    Maybe this is obstructively cynical of me, but it seems like that’s at least partly the point. Think of the 2016 campaign ads: “The Democrat Party’s failed socialist policies have damaged America’s economy and its standing in the world. Vote for Joe Bloggs, proud Tea Party Republican.”

    Rs can’t govern to save their souls, but they can run election campaigns in their sleep. Add in most Rs’ utter lack of understanding of macroeconomics, and you have a recipe for intentionally precipitating an economic crisis: sure, Establishment economists say it’s reckless, but it might win a seat or two in Congress, so it’s worth the risk.


    • Aynwrong

      Rs have souls?

      • muselet

        That was, alas, strictly a figure of speech.