US Democrats Reportedly Accepted McConnell’s Short-Term Offer on Debt Limit Crisis
US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) earlier issued a statement addressing the Democrats’ “self -created” debt limit crisis by offering a short-term suspension of the US debt ceiling to avert a national default and economic crisis. The matter has since been left in limbo amid ongoing discussions.
US Democrats have reportedly accepted an offer earlier proposed by US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to avoid an economic crisis, marking the latest in ongoing back and forth between congressional lawmakers over the US debt ceiling.
Although nothing concrete has been put forth, Politico co-congressional bureau chief Burgess Everett reported
on Wednesday that several Democrat lawmakers had accepted McConnell's deal.
“After a long caucus, multiple Democrats say they will accept the short-term increase laid out by McConnell but that they will not use reconciliation for a longer-term solution for the debt ceiling,” Everett stated.
He later cited US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) commenting that McConnell has "finally saw the light," and that a bill to correct the concerning debt issues needed to clear the chamber "as soon as possible."
"The clock is ticking," he continued. "It would have been a disaster if this did not happen."
Earlier, McConnell reportedly
confirmed that this proposal would extend the US Treasury Department’s borrowing authority through November until Democrats are able to pass a more permanent solution before the end of the year.
4 October 2021, 15:23 GMT
“To protect the American people from a near-term Democrat-created crisis, we will also allow Democrats to use normal procedures to pass an emergency debt limit extension at a fixed dollar amount to cover current spending levels into December,” he said in a statement
posted to Twitter.
“This will moot Democrats’ excuses about the time crunch they created and give the unified Democratic government more than enough time to pass standalone debt limit legislation through reconciliation,” the Kentucky Republican added.
His statement reiterated that the GOP would assist Democrats in expediting a reconciliation bill for stand-alone debt limit legislation if Democratic leadership wanted to address the borrowing cap before the October deadline.
“Alternatively, if Democrats abandon their efforts to ram through another historically reckless taxing and spending spree that will hurt families and help China, a more traditional bipartisan governing, conversation could be possible.”
McConnell’s offer to help Democrats comes after US President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress amped up pressure on Republicans to act on the debt limit. It was not clear whether Democrats would accept his proposal, as both Republicans and Democrats have clashed in recent weeks over tax and spending issues.
US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), along with Biden, have pushed on McConnell’s demand that the debt ceiling be hiked through a complex procedure known as reconciliation.
“The default would lead to self-inflicted wounds that risk the market tanking and wiping out savings and costing jobs,” Biden said as he met with a group of top US business leaders on Wednesday amid a brawl over the borrowing limit.
Schumer’s office did not have an immediate response to McConnell’s potential statement, but US Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) expressed his remark towards the plan, and described the offer as “bull****.”
Although the US Senate had intended to hold a Wednesday vote to suspend the federal government’s $28.4 trillion debt ceiling, it was ultimately postponed as Democrats departed the congressional chamber with the hopes of considering the Republican proposal meant to potentially defuse the partisan standoff that threatens the broader economy.
It is not immediately clear when the postponed vote will be held.
Weighing in on the latest developments, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday at a press briefing
that “no formal offer" has been made on the debt ceiling, even though lawmakers "could get this done today."
“Democrats are very willing to be the adults in the room and take a vote to raise the debt limit, they’re not even asking Republicans to do that anymore since they’ve clearly shown their refusal to do exactly that.”
Psaki later commented that "the preference would be just getting this done today so we can move on to more business for the American people."