The Senate’s No. 3 Democrat on Tuesday said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money Klobuchar taking over Franken's sexual assault bill MORE (R-Ky.) is standing in the way of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

“His ‘my way or the highway’ approach is what is standing in the way of getting an agreement,” said Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJuan Williams: The politics of impeachment Texas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request Dem rep: Trump disaster aid request is 'how you let America down again' MORE (D-N.Y.). “The person standing in the way right now is Senator McConnell.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Schumer reacted to McConnell's meeting with President Obama on Monday in which McConnell warned he would not accept tax hikes as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, in part because a package that included them would be “politically impossible” in Congress.

“Just yesterday my Republican colleague drew a line in the sand on cutting wasteful spending in the tax code, calling elimination of special interest giveaways 'politically impossible,' ” said Schumer. “Politically impossible, really?”

“You haven't heard such strident language from the other leaders,” continued Schumer. “When he says take everything we want and nothing you want, we will not get an agreement. That is what he is saying.”

Schumer concluded by urging McConnell to abandon his hard-line approach.

“Meet us part of the way here,” said Schumer. “Don't say 'my way or no way.' Because that is too risky.”

Obama and congressional leaders are trying to craft a deal to raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says the U.S. will be at risk of defaulting on its debts. Obama met with Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election MORE (R-Ohio) last week to discuss a debt deal and followed up on Monday by meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidVirginia was a wave election, but without real change, the tide will turn again Top Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor MORE (D-Nev.) and McConnell.

ADVERTISEMENT
Tax increases have emerged as the central obstacle to reaching an agreement. John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election MORE and McConnell insist tax hikes will not be part of any deal, but Democrats want to eliminate some tax provisions for corporations and the very wealthy.

McConnell asked Obama on Monday for proposals to cut the deficit that would not raise taxes, and told the president that Republicans will insist on steep budget cuts, caps on future spending and entitlement reform.

“At some point, the president needs to realize that the reason our debt has skyrocketed 35 percent over the past two years and that our annual deficit is now three times greater than the highest deficit the previous administration ever ran is that spending has spiraled completely out of control,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday afternoon.  


—Alexander Bolton contributed.