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As GOP tackles debt ceiling, Democrats try to shame McConnell

The last time the problem surfaced, in August 2019, Congress and President Donald J. Trump suspended the debt ceiling until July 31 of this year. On August 2, the Treasury reset the debt limit to $ 28.4 trillion, and the government crossed it days later, less than seven months after President Biden began in office.

Second, an increase in the debt ceiling will almost certainly require at least the consent of Senate Republicans to overcome an obstruction and get to the vote. Mr McConnell would like Democrats to add a debt ceiling increase to the social policy bill, which is being drafted under budget rules that would allow it to pass with 51 votes in the Senate.

But Democrats said weeks ago they would not do this. Given the difficulty of reaching a near-unanimous Democratic agreement on the measure – and a series of procedural hurdles they would have to overcome – it would most likely be impossible to get it to the House and Senate floors to time to avoid a fault.

Democrats say they have helped Mr. Trump and the Republican leadership meet the debt limit, and that fairness now dictates bipartisanship, especially on such a big issue. Hence the campaign of shame.

If Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans choose to default to avoid paying the debts they helped accumulate under President Trump, it will devastate the economy and irreparably discredit the financial situation of our country, their party and them. same, “Justin Goodman, spokesman for Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said Wednesday. “Senator McConnell will become the first person in history to force a default, and every American will know Senate Republicans are to blame.”

Mr. McConnell is not the Democrats’ only target; they say other Senate Republicans, such as Utah’s Mitt Romney, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, understand what’s at stake. Democratic leaders are likely to tie a cap increase from debt to an emergency spending bill that includes funding for the reconstruction of Hurricane Ida, forest fire management and the resettlement of Afghan refugees; they will then dare Republican senators from Louisiana, Idaho and Montana and other interested lawmakers to vote no later than this month.

Reputation aside, Mr. McConnell has already lost. In 2015, the Senate voted against its categorical opposition to the post-September federal government downsizing. 11 monitoring of US telephone records. He has vowed this year to oppose a Senate organizing resolution to give Democrats control of the chamber unless the new majority promises to protect legislative obstruction. Then he blinked.