McConnell calls on Senate to act on House offer to raise the debt ceiling

The House legislation would extend the debt limit for three months. The bill also requires congressional pay to be withheld if Congress does not pass a budget by April 15. Republicans have criticized Senate Democrats for not passing a budget the last few years.

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“I know a lot of Democrats are afraid of a process that exposes their priorities, particularly on spending and debt,” McConnell said. “After nearly four years of refusing to pass a budget, they’ve only now reluctantly agreed to develop a spending plan for the coming fiscal year. All I would say to that is that, since the revenue question has been settled, I’m sure the American people are eager to see what other ideas Democrats might have to bring down our ruinous deficits.”

Democrats have called for a “clean” debt ceiling increase without any “strings attached.” The government will reach its debt limit next month. The Republican proposal to extend the debt ceiling for three months is an attempt to give lawmakers more time to agree to spending-cuts and entitlement reform to lower the deficit.

McConnell said entitlement reform has to be part of the overall budget reductions since the programs are a major expense for the federal government.

“If we don’t work together to strengthen our entitlement programs, they will go bankrupt,” McConnell said. “Automatic cuts will be forced on seniors already receiving benefits, rendering worthless the promises that they’ve built their retirements around. It’s nice to say, as the president did [Monday], that these programs free us to take the risks that make our country great. But if we don’t act to strengthen and protect them now, in a few years they simply won’t be there in their current form.”

Democrats have called for more tax revenue through closing loop holes to be part of any deficit reduction deal.