The Corner

McConnell On Giving WH Debt Ceiling Control: “Outrageous”

Excerpts from the prepared remarks Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, is delivering this afternoon in regards to the suggestion that the president should have power to raise the debt ceiling:

“And most outrageous of all — it gives the President of the United States unilateral power to raise the limit on the federal credit card, the so-called debt ceiling, whenever he wants, for as much as he wants. And while I’m flattered that the Administration has taken to calling this the McConnell provision, they seem to have forgotten how this proposal worked in the Budget Control Act. 

“Yes, we gave the President the authority then to request a debt ceiling increase. But that was only after the White House agreed to $2 trillion in cuts to Washington spending, and agreed to be bound by the timing and amount set by Congress. 

“This time, the request is for the President to have the ability to raise the debt ceiling whenever he wants, for as much as he wants, with no fiscal responsibility or spending cuts attached.

“This is an idea opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike; it’s a power grab that has no support here. And so it’s not only completely dishonest, it’s juvenile, to compare it to last year’s debt ceiling agreement. It would also be incredibly irresponsible, since history shows that the only major deficit cutting deals we ever do around here come after debates over the debt limit. It may be a good idea if you don’t care about the debt, but it’s a non-starter for those of us who do. It also represents a dangerous attempt by a president to grab more power over spending, power that Congress must not and will not cede.

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