Senate Democrats to call for 'McConnell rule' on debt ceiling
© Greg Nash

A group of Senate Democrats is slated Tuesday to introduce a plan allowing the president to raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress — a tactic dubbed the "McConnell Rule."

The plan hinges on a solution devised by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFive things to know about efforts to repeal Obama's water rule Mulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Senate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays MORE (R-Ky.) during the 2011 debt-ceiling standoff that saddled President Obama with ultimate responsibility for raising the limit. It was used again in the deal to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government earlier this month. 

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While Congress would be able to halt the borrowing increase by a vote of disapproval, it would be subject to a presidential veto and have little chance of gaining the necessary supermajorities to override it. 

Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer calls for Trump administration to appoint 'czar' to oversee family reunification Donald Trump Jr. headlines Montana Republican convention Montana's environmental lobby teams with governor to kill 600 jobs MORE (D-N.Y.) announced his plans to introduce the permanent change earlier this month after the nation nearly bumped up against the borrowing deadline set by the Treasury Department. 

He will introduce the legislation with Democratic Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (Calif.) and Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDem senator: If Nielsen doesn't reunite families, 'she should resign' Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Fourth Senate Dem calls for Nielsen to resign over family separation policy MORE (Hawaii) during a Tuesday morning press conference. 

Since a vote to increase the debt ceiling is politically unpopular for many members, especially conservative Republicans, the tactic allows lawmakers to vote against an increase without actually threatening default. 

Schumer's office said in a statement that the legislation "would drastically reduce the chances that the debt ceiling could be used as a political weapon designed to extract policy concessions from the opposing party."

It is unclear whether Republicans would support the measure since it would reduce their disapproval of a debt-limit increase to a largely symbolic vote. The debt-ceiling vote has been used in recent years as a major negotiating tool for Republicans that many would be hard-pressed to give up.  

In 2011, McConnell fashioned the proposal after past measures, and it was included as part of a broader package. In interviews at the time, he said it was designed to make Obama own the debt-limit increase. 

"We thought he ought to own it. It's part of my job to protect my members if I can against having to vote for it," McConnell said at the time in an interview for the book The Price of Politics.