McCain praises McConnell backup debt plan

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) praised a backup plan by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to raise the debt ceiling.

“I strongly support Senator McConnell’s efforts to avoid a default on our nation’s debt, and the last-case emergency proposal he outlined yesterday to ensure that Republicans aren’t unduly blamed for failure to raise the debt ceiling," McCain said in a statement on Wednesday.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, criticized President Obama for warning that unless the debt ceiling is raised, Social Security checks for seniors might not go out on Aug. 3, a day after the Treasury Department projects the government will default unless a deal is reached.

"The President is stoking fears among our seniors by falsely asserting that Republicans’ position on the debt talks endangers their Social Security checks," McCain continued. "The President’s obvious strategy is to convince Americans that Republicans are to blame for the current impasse and any worst-case scenarios of default."

"The last-case emergency proposal that Senator McConnell outlined yesterday is a smart, forward-looking plan to make clear to all Americans that should we get to August 2nd without an agreement, it is President Obama alone — and not Republicans in Congress — who decides whether to raise the debt limit, and owns the economic consequences of any default. I applaud Senator McConnell for his leadership," McCain said.

McCain added that he hoped McConnell's (R-Ky.) proposal would help Republicans and Democrats reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling.

On Tuesday McConnell unveiled what he called a backup plan for raising the debt ceiling. The plan gives Obama responsibility to raise the debt ceiling in three small increments without required spending cuts. Congress could block the increases with resolutions of disapproval, but Obama could veto those blocks if they do not have two-thirds' majority support in both chambers of Congress.

Publicly, House Republicans have panned McConnell's plan, but on background, aides have voiced pessimism that it could pass through the House.

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