The Corner

Politics & Policy

McConnell Calls Democrats’ Bluff on Debt Limit

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) walks to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 14, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

For weeks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been insisting that Democrats could not pursue reconciliation to extend the debt limit by themselves because there was simply no time left, with the October 18 date put out by Treasury secretary Janet Yellen quickly approaching. But Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has now called their bluff.

In a new statement, McConnell has announced he has made an offer to Democrats. He is now giving Schumer a choice between reconciliation proceeding on an expedited basis (i.e., without Republicans using all tactics at their disposal to bog down the process) or, giving him Republican support to pass an extension of the debt ceiling to provide enough room to cover spending into December. The first option would mean Democrats would have enough time to extend the debt limit via reconciliation in the next two weeks. The second option would give them months to pass something via reconciliation. Either way, Democrats can no longer credibly claim that reconciliation isn’t an option due to a time crunch.

Full McConnell statement below.

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