By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday rejected the House Republican proposal for a six-week increase in the debt limit.
“They’re talking about extending the debt ceiling for two months or six weeks — please,” Reid said Friday. “We do not believe a six-week delay of a catastrophic default is enough time to give the economy the confidence it needs.”
House Republicans on Thursday presented President Obama an offer to raise the debt-ceiling for six weeks in order to avoid a default. The president didn't say "yes or no," according to Republicans, and the two sides are in negotiations over an agreement that might also reopen the government.
Republicans have proposed a short-term debt ceiling extension to allow time to negotiate spending cuts in exchange for a larger debt-limit increase. Reid opposes a short-term extension because he said it would cause another crisis at Christmas time.
Reid has set up a vote on a “clean” debt-ceiling bill that would allow the government to continue to borrow money through the end of 2014, but Republicans have rejected that proposal, saying they want major spending cuts and entitlement reform before they’ll agree to increasing the debt limit by another $1 trillion.
Reid said that if Congress allows the government to default on its debt, the world could go into a deep recession.
“This is my opinion: if we allow the United States to default on its debt for the first time in its glorious history it will be a black mark ... and will spark a global recession,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
Senate Republicans are meeting with the president on Friday to discuss a possible way forward.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he hoped the meeting at the White House was more productive than the last.
"If all the president wants is to drag us over there to say he won’t negotiate, that won’t be productive," McConnell said.