Washington – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted on Tuesday that no Republican would vote to raise the debt ceiling as Democrats moved forward with a sweeping $ 3.5 trillion package that would include many of President Biden’s policies in childcare, education and health care.
“I can’t imagine a single Republican in this environment we find ourselves in right now – this free for all on taxes and spending – to vote to raise the debt limit,” McConnell told Punchbowl News in an interview at the Capitol on Tuesday. “I think the answer is they need to put it in the reconciliation bill.”
A group of Senate Democrats last weekwhich will encompass elements of Mr. Biden’s so-called “human” infrastructure agenda, which the White House wants to push through Congress alongside the smaller, more targeted $ 600 billion two-party infrastructure framework.
Democrats plan to use a legislative process called budget reconciliation to pass the comprehensive package, which would allow it to be approved in the Senate by a simple majority and without the backing of Republicans. The package is expected to include Mr Biden’s priorities that were left out of the bipartisan infrastructure deal, including proposals on childcare, healthcare, education and climate change.
But the Democrat-controlled Congress is in the early stages of the reconciliation process, as congressional committees will be tasked with turning the $ 3.5 trillion deal into legislation. In addition, the Treasury Department is considering the July 31 expiration of aadopted under the Trump administration.
Secretary of the Treasury Janet YellenCongress failing to raise the debt ceiling last month would have “absolutely catastrophic economic consequences” that could lead to a financial crisis and said that defaulting on the national debt “should be seen as unthinkable “.
“I would advocate to Congress simply to protect the full confidence and credit of the United States by taking action to raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible,” she said.
The national debt currently stands at $ 28.5 trillion.
Republicans criticized the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats for their new spending proposals and claimed the $ 3.5 trillion plan would result in tax increases for American families. Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, said Tuesday Democrats “appeared determined to bankrupt America” and were engaging in “tax folly and reckless spending.”