McConnell looks for a way out of the debt ceiling box

After taking a hard line and refusing to negotiate with Democrats during the latest showdown over the debt limit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Standoff Rejects Quick Settlement On Senate Defense Bill Ahead Of Thanksgiving For The Money: House Democrats Are Ready To Better Rebuild McConnell And Schumer Seek Roof Of debt PLUS he’s quietly looking for a way to solve the problem without another high-profile battle.

McConnell has several reasons for finding a way out.

He doesn’t want another debt limit battle that attracts ex’s attention and ire President TrumpDonald Trump Republican Senate Candidate Says Fauci Is A ‘Mass Killer’, Should Be Imprisoned Instead Of A ‘Hero’ Rittenhouse Overnight Health Care – Presented By Emergent Biosolutions – Pfizer, The COVID-19 Pill Deal US Strike On The Money – House Democrats Ready To Build Back Better MORE, according to Republican senators.

He also fears that the threat of a national default could convince Sens. Joe manchinJoe Manchin On the money: House Democrats are ready to better rebuild Manchin: ‘Looking very favorably’ on Powell as Fed chairman after meeting with Manchin undecided about helping start debate on the US bill Biden expenses PLUS (DW.Va.) and Kyrsten CinemaKyrsten SinemaOvernight Health Care – Presented by Emergent Biosolutions – Pfizer, US COVID-19 pill deal. (D-Ariz.) To support a break from the obstructionist rule to allow Democrats to raise the debt limit without any Republican vote.

McConnell met with the Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck Schumer Standoff Scraps Quick Settlement on Senate Defense Bill Ahead of Thanksgiving Defund Biden: The Only Way to Put America on a Schumer Budget: Emissions Cuts ‘Not Enough’ Without Delivering with the White House environmental justice standard MORE (DN.Y.) in Schumer’s Capitol office Thursday afternoon to discuss the expiring debt limit and other issues. It was the first time the two leaders held a meeting on Capitol Hill since Schumer bypassed McConnell’s office to negotiate the CARES Act in March 2020, according to an aide familiar with their recent history.

“We had a good discussion on several different topics that exist as we move towards the end of the session,” McConnell told reporters. “We agreed to keep talking, working together to try to get somewhere.”

Republican senators say the meeting is a sign of how much McConnell wants to strike a deal with Schumer that allows Democrats to raise the debt ceiling without requiring a Republican vote.

“They’re looking for ways that we don’t have to vote,” said a Senate Republican familiar with the talks.

McConnell is short on time.

secretary of the treasury Janet yellenJanet Louise Yellen On The Money: House Democrats Ready To Build Better CBO Releases Plan Cost Estimate Biden McConnell And Schumer Seek Debt Ceiling MORE informed congressional leaders on Tuesday that the federal government will be unable to pay all of its debt obligations on December 15.

One proposal that Republicans are floating around is allowing an extremely fast reconciliation process, which would allow Democrats to use the same special path they plan to use to President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats push vote on social spending plan through Friday Fauci says all adults should ‘go get a boost’ Senate confirms Park Service director after years of sitting bosses MORESocial and Climate Spending Bill to Increase the Debt Limit.

Under this scenario, Democrats would be allowed to use the reconciliation process to increase the debt limit without having to take a time-consuming series of procedural votes in the Senate.

Rather than taking two weeks to amend the budget resolution to establish a new reconciliation vehicle, a process that would normally require two votes per branch in the room, Republicans would allow the proceedings to be compressed into one or a few days.

“My proposal is that the Democrats can pass the debt limit on their own and that is what they should do,” the Senator said. Pat toomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack Women Seek To Build On Achievements In Upcoming Election Watch Live: Republican Senators Present New Infrastructure Proposal Sasse Reprimanded By Nebraska Republican Party For Impeachment Vote MORE (R-Pa.). “I have suggested that the Republicans go back in time and not lengthen it and I am sure we would.”

In October, McConnell gathered the Republican votes needed to promote the legislation. Republican senators say there is no way McConnell can do that again.

“There are not 10 Republicans who are going to vote for her,” said the Republican senator, who requested anonymity to comment on the negotiations.

Trump, who is apparently looking for any opportunity to attack McConnell, criticized him for the move.

Republican senators say McConnell is eager to prevent Republicans from voting again on a procedural motion to establish a final vote for or against the debt cap legislation.

McConnell told Biden in a letter last month that he could not be counted on to provide Republican votes, not even on a procedural motion to promote debt cap legislation. He insisted that Democrats use the budget reconciliation process to circumvent Republican obstructionism.

“His lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they said they lacked to address the debt ceiling through independent reconciliation and all the tools to do so. They cannot invent another crisis and ask for my help, ”he wrote on October 8.

Republicans say McConnell also wants to avoid a showdown that Schumer could use as an excuse to persuade Manchin and Sinema to agree to weaken the Senate’s obstructionist rule.

“My view is that Schumer wants to use this as an opportunity to put a hole in the filibuster,” Sen. said. Marco RubioMarco Antonio Rubio Rubio vows to slow Biden’s China and Spain ambassador nominees On The Money – Biden closes infrastructure week Senate Republicans ask colleagues to reject unfunded border wall spending bills MORE (R-Fla.). “If there is an opportunity to breach the filibuster, given the pressure they are receiving from the radical left, I think they will surely seize it. It will probably conclude that the nation’s creditworthiness is as good as any other asset. “

Its. Chuck grassleyChuck Grassley Biden Signs Bipartisan Bills Providing Additional Resources for Police Biden Has Only a 33 Percent Pass Rating in Iowa Poll Senator Patrick Leahy Says He Will Not Seek Re-election MORE (R-Iowa) said there is no way McConnell could back down on that statement by asking his Republican colleagues to even vote for a closing motion to overcome the 60-vote hurdle that controversial legislation generally needs to advance to passage. final in the Senate.

“If you draw a line in the sand and don’t defend it, you will lose credibility,” he said of raising the debt limit. “So we said the last time that it was going to be the last time that it was going to be bipartisan. You have to stick with it. “

Some Republicans initially viewed the October showdown as a political victory because it forced Democrats, including vulnerable incumbents, to vote a high debt number rather than simply postpone the debt limit to a future date, which is what Democrats do. they preferred to vote.

But a major political problem arose because the proposal needed the votes of 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster waged by conservative Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz, Braun criticizes Library of Congress for ditching the term ‘illegal aliens’ to fit ‘progressive preference’ Senate confirms Biden’s ambassador to NATO after Hawley lifts control Hawley lifts controlling the choice of Biden for the NATO envoy, obtaining confirmation MORE (R-Texas), Mike leeMichael (Mike) Shumway Lee Senators Make Bipartisan Effort to Block Sale of 0 Million Guns to Saudis On The Money – Biden Closes Infrastructure Week Senate Republicans Call on Colleagues to Reject Spending Bills underfunded public of the border wall MORE (R-Utah) and Rand paulRandal (Rand) Howard Paul Senators make bipartisan effort to block sale of 0 million guns to Saudis YouTube temporarily suspends Ron Johnson’s channel for COVID-19 disinformation Fauci criticizes Paul for saying he is responsible for the pandemic COVID MORE (R-Ky.).

McConnell’s leadership team tried to convince the Conservatives to agree to allow the final vote for or against to be unanimous to pass only with Democratic votes. But Cruz, Lee and Paul forced the closing vote, which put McConnell in a tight spot to find 10 votes.

Then he and his leadership team had to convene an emergency meeting of the Republican Senate caucus on the night of October 7 to ask fellow Republicans to vote on the unpopular procedural motion to advance the debt limit to the final approval.

At the end of the day, 11 Republicans, including McConnell and most of his leadership team members, voted to end the filibuster imposed by Cruz and other conservatives.

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