Democrats tell Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell to ‘avert a manufactured crisis’
A group of 64 House Democrats called on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to address the federal debt limit.
In the letter, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, and his aides said Democrats supported efforts to triple the debt limit under former President Donald Trump. Lawmakers said McConnell should support a suspension of limits to “avert a manufactured crisis”, noting that he warned as recently as last week that the US government should “never default.”
“Whatever policy agenda you think the current administration and the Democratic majority in Congress are pursuing, we know you agree that our economy will be unnecessarily crippled by political uncertainty over a potential default on our obligations. It would be dangerous misconduct to allow a country,” Democratic lawmakers said.
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The letter was published shortly before Senate lawmakers voted whether to launch a debate on legislation funding the government, setting funding for hurricane relief and suspending debt limits. A funding package should pass this week to avoid the government shutdown.
Democrats are expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to move the bill, which had already been approved in the House. McConnell and other GOP lawmakers who oppose raising the debt limit argue that doing so would clear the way for Democrats to pursue costly policy initiatives passed along partisan lines.
“If they want to tax, borrow and spend historical amounts without our input, they’ll have to raise the debt limit without our help. That’s the reality. I’ve been saying this very clearly since July,” McConnell said. on the Senate floor last week.
Congress is expected to vote on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill later this week. Without Republican support, Democrats will have to find other avenues to raise the debt limit, such as adding language to a reconciliation bill.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of disastrous economic consequences if the debt limit is not raised. Without the suspension, the US could default on some of its payments as of October.