McConnell: Republicans ‘united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling’
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that Republicans will vote in unison to defeat any government funding bill that would also raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
“Republicans are united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling,” McConnell declared when asked after a GOP conference meeting whether any Republicans would vote for a funding stopgap that expands the federal government’s borrowing authority, which is expected to be exhausted in October.
McConnell explained that Republicans oppose raising the debt ceiling “not because it doesn’t need to be done” but because doing so would pave the way for Democrats to pass a $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill that would undo much of former President Trump’s 2017 tax cut.
“The last time the debt ceiling was raised it was done on a bipartisan basis in conjunction with an overall [spending] caps agreement,” he added.
“This year is unique … I’ve never seen such an effort to expand the reach of the federal government like we’ve been confronted with this year,” he said.
Other Republicans, including moderate Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah) and Rob Portman (Ohio), on Tuesday also ruled out voting for a government funding resolution that also expands the nation’s borrowing authority.
Government departments and agencies need to be funded with a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown at month’s end.
The last time there was a political standoff over the debt limit, in 2011, it resulted in a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating, which sent stock markets into a tailspin.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he plans to raise the debt ceiling under regular order, which means it needs at least 10 GOP votes to overcome a filibuster.
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