Republican senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, is part of the problem, DeMint says. Instead of enabling conservatives to propose their solutions early on, McConnell made them wait until the Biden debt-reduction talks collapsed, leaving little time to rally behind counterproposals.
DeMint wishes that McConnell had encouraged conservatives to engage the public months ago. As Republicans sat on their hands, the chances for the best possible outcome decreased, DeMint feels. “McConnell was convinced that House Republicans could not pass a plan. He felt like he needed to propose a plan,” DeMint says. “But he did this after we all had been told, for months, that we should not propose a plan during the Biden talks.”
“Early on, Republican leaders in the House and Senate also said that we have to raise the debt limit,” DeMint says. “Unfortunately, we showed our hand.” Now, he says, “Republicans have our backs against the walls.”
“When I spoke to the conference months ago, I told my colleagues that the most important part of negotiations is when you put your proposal on the table,” DeMint says. But that never happened. The “difference in the sense of urgency among Senate Republicans,” he says, is troublesome.