Democrats are trying to find another way to increase theafter Republicans blocked their last effort on Tuesday. The United States is now heading for a default in a matter of weeks, which could have catastrophic economic consequences, government officials and economists are warning.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday sought unanimous consent from the Senate to hold a vote to raise the debt ceiling with a simple simple majority of senators. He argued that Republicans insisted Democrats act on their own to increase debt limit votes, so a unanimous consent vote meets that demand. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed it, forcing Democratic lawmakers to come up with another plan.
“There is no chance, no chance that the Republican Conference will do all it can to help Democrats save their time and energy, so that they can resume partisan socialism as quickly as possible,” McConnell said.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress on Tuesday morning that the government would be unable to pay its bills if.
Democrats had previously tried to include a provision to suspend the debt ceiling until December 2022 in the short-term spending bill known as the continuing resolution, which would fund the government until December. But this legislation was blocked by Republicans on Monday evening.
Democrats may need to include the debt limit provision in the budget reconciliation bill to be passed by Congress, the move McConnell suggested in July as the debt limit suspension expired.
But Schumer rejected the idea on Tuesday, saying “reconciliation is risky for the country and it’s a non-starter.” He described the process of using reconciliation to settle the debt ceiling as long, convoluted and difficult, noting that it “ping pong” between the House and the Senate and cannot be done by adding just an amendment.
To include the debt limit in the reconciliation bill, Democrats should go back and revise their budget resolution to include increasing the debt limit, a move that faces political hurdles and poses challenges. timing issues with their current program.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he had been asked about reconciliation as an option to settle the debt ceiling, but that it was “certainly not the best option, nor the option we are looking for “.
While Republicans refuse to help lower the debt limit, they also say the country must not default.
“Of course the debt ceiling has to be raised. They have a way to do it,” McConnell said earlier Tuesday.
Raising the debt ceiling allows the federal government to pay its debts, not new spending. As Republicans attempt to derail the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation plan, even without new spending, debt will continue to rise due to past legislation, including bipartisan COVID relief, as well as the Republican tax cuts of 2017.
Jack Turman contributed to this report.