With less than two weeks to go before a potential government shutdown arrives in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says his caucus will not support a package of legislation that raises the debt ceiling.
Congressional Democrats leaders unveiled their plans to fund the government, increase disaster relief funding, and raise the debt ceiling all at one time. But although GOP policies of the last 20 years are largely responsible for our increasing debt, they refuse to take any responsibility for it.
The Democrats’ plan grew more complicated Monday, as McConnell only hardened his position that his GOP conference would not assist Democrats in addressing the debt limit when their party controls Congress and the White House.
Republicans will “support a clean, continuing resolution“ that includes disaster aid and refugee resettlement funding, but not legislation to raise the debt limit, McConnell said on the floor Monday afternoon.
Assuming that Republicans wouldn't dare filibuster an increase in the debt ceiling and trigger a national default on our debt, I believe Democrats should call their bluff and proceed as planned. Pass the entire package with a simple majority if they have to.
That's an enormous risk to take, of course, but what other choice do they have? Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has repeatedly said the government will exhaust its borrowing authority within the next month.
Republicans like to say that Democrats spend too much without paying for it, but they spend even more and pay for even less of it. At the end of the day, saying you won't increase the debt ceiling is like saying you won't pay for anything. Their tax cuts for the rich and wars that began under George W. Bush are responsible for most of our growing debt at this point in time. We'll still be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars when the 60th president takes office.