After months of refusing to increase the credit limit, McConnell (R-K) this week offered a short-term solution to increase the debt limit enough for the government to pay its bills until December. Eleven Republicans voted with Democrats to allow the agreement to pass the Senate.
The vote was uncertain until the last minute, as many Senators slammed their own leader for negotiating with the Democrats and breaking the party line: that the Democrats alone should increase the credit limit.
Even former President Donald Trump called on Republicans to block the vote.
“Mitch McConnell seems to be leaning towards Democrats again,” Trump told Save America PAC before the vote. “He has all the credit cards, it’s time to play. Do not allow them to destroy our country! ”
But in the end, the Senate made an unprecedented debt default, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that another financial crisis could ensue.
Thanks to the Democrats ‘solidarity against the Republicans’ obstruction, Schumer said in the Senate after the vote: “I’m glad their border is not working. “What is needed now is a long-term solution, so we’re not going through this drama once every few months.”
Earlier on Thursday, Republicans refused to help Democrats increase their credit limit, saying they did not want to give Democrats more room to pass spending bills. The credit limit must be raised, regardless of the future policies of the Democrats.
The Republican leadership was outraged on Thursday before the vote.
“I believe it’s a mistake to present this deal,” San Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told reporters. “Two days ago, the Republicans were united, we were all on the same page, we were all standing together and explaining that the Democrats had full power to raise the debt ceiling … Schumer was on the verge of surrender.
“Unfortunately the deal that was put on the table was Schumer’s lifeline, when I disagreed with that decision,” Cruz said.
The extension of the credit limit is expected to last until December 3, when the Treasury Department will once again have to borrow an extraordinary amount of money and pay the nation’s bills until Congress raises it again.
McConnell says Democrats need to find a long-term solution on their own. Republicans in particular have said Democrats should push it through the reconciliation process, allowing the Senate, a budget strategy, to pass legislation by a simple majority. However, the process is systematically lengthy and gives Republicans ample opportunity to gain political clout.
Democrats on Wednesday welcomed McConnell’s short-term proposal, declaring victory. But they explained that the long-term increase to the credit limit through reconciliation would not create another hurdle for credit in as little as two months.
After all the drama surrounding this election, Republicans don’t seem to be blinking another time.