The Senate’s No. 3 Democrat on Tuesday said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (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 Schumer (D-N.Y.). “The person standing in the way right now is Senator McConnell.”
“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 Boehner (R-Ohio) last week to discuss a debt deal and followed up on Monday by meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and McConnell.
—Alexander Bolton contributed.