Senate draws closer to deal to lift debt ceiling until December
Praying for Republicans to fold was an even riskier game for Democrats, given the stakes. If, for the first time, the US government could not meet its obligations to international lenders, its role as a safe haven for the global economy would be called into question. Interest rates would most likely rise sharply and global financial institutions would start looking for new vehicles to store money, where it would not be subject to the vagaries of partisan politics.
“We don’t ask them to blink; we ask them to be the least bit reasonable, ”Senator Angus King, an independent centrist from Maine, said of Republican leaders. “The political gain from this seems small to me. The loss to the country seems extraordinarily high to me. “
Understanding the US debt ceiling
What is the debt ceiling? The debt ceiling, also known as the debt limit, is a ceiling on the total amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow through US Treasury bills and savings bonds to meet its financial obligations. Because the United States has budget deficits, it has to borrow huge sums of money to pay its bills.
The Republican obstruction on the borrowing limit forced Democrats last week to remove a debt ceiling increase from a must-see spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. And Mr McConnell refused to allow Democrats to vote unilaterally.
“Democratic leaders did not want solutions,” McConnell told the Senate Wednesday. “They wanted to turn their failure into everybody’s crisis, to play risky games with our economy, to use fabricated dramas to intimidate their own members, to engage in petty politics instead of governing.”
Top Democrats have since dropped their insistence that Republicans join them in bipartisan support to raise the statutory cap on the government’s ability to borrow to meet its financial obligations. In turn, they want Mr McConnell to honor his demand that Democrats lift the ceiling on their own – either by giving their consent to vote or by providing 10 Republican votes to break the filibuster.
“We have already provided plenty of opportunities for Republicans to do what they say they want, including offering a simple majority vote so Democrats can suspend the debt ceiling as Republicans have requested,” said Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. , said Wednesday. “But every time, Republicans have chosen obstruction.”
While leading Republicans have said most of their members will privately support allowing Democrats to go forward on their own, they did not want to vote publicly this way, and any senator can oppose it and force a vote.