McConnell: Unlikely Congress will 'give up' debt ceiling

McConnell: Unlikely Congress will 'give up' debt ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell15 senators miss votes despite McConnell's criticism of absentees Overnight Health Care: Azar defends approach on drug rebates | Trump presses Senate to act quickly on opioid crisis | Kentucky governor's Medicaid lawsuit tossed Dem senator introduces proposal to rein in Trump on security clearances MORE (R-Ky.) predicted on Tuesday that Congress would stick with the debt ceiling.

"Getting Congress to give up a tool like that would probably be quite a challenging undertaking. My assumption is that the debt ceiling will continue," he told reporters during a weekly leadership press conference.

McConnell didn't directly say if he would support getting rid of the debt limit.

Conservatives often try to use debt ceiling votes to try to get spending cuts or entitlement reforms.

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President Trump has floated the idea of getting rid of the debt ceiling, a move that puts him at odds with some GOP lawmakers, including Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKrystal Ball: GOP tax cut is 'opiate of the massively privileged' Top GOP lawmaker: Tax cuts will lower projected deficit GOP super PAC seizes on Ellison abuse allegations in ads targeting Dems MORE (R-Wis.).

Trump told reporters late last week that "there are a lot of good reasons" to get rid of the debt limit.

"The president encouraged Congressional leaders to find a more permanent solution to the debt ceiling so the vote is not so frequently politicized," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week.

Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed during a closed-door meeting to discuss a plan to do away with future debt ceiling votes later this year.

The conversation came as Trump agreed with congressional Democrats to extend government funding and raise the debt ceiling for three months.

The deadline could force Congress to revisit both issues in December.

But McConnell reiterated on Tuesday that Congress will be able to delay another debt ceiling vote until 2018 by allowing the Treasury Department to use "extraordinary measures."