Democrats say they will accept McConnell debt ceiling offer

Democratic senators on Wednesday signaled they will accept a proposal by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to raise the debt limit for two months to avoid a potential economic crisis.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) noted that accepting McConnell’s offer to vote to raise the debt limit to a certain number high enough to cover the nation’s financial obligations until December would amount to “a temporary victory.”

“In terms of a temporary lifting of the debt ceiling, we view that as a victory, a temporary victory with more work to do,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper. 

Baldwin made her comments after leaving a closed-door Senate Democratic Conference meeting where lawmakers discussed McConnell’s offer floated earlier in the day.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is expected to announce his party’s position on McConnell’s offer Wednesday afternoon. 

Baldwin noted that accepting the deal would allow Democrats to avoid having to undertake the arduous process of amending the 2022 budget resolution to set up a stand-alone reconciliation package to raise the debt ceiling. Under Senate rules, they would have to set the debt ceiling at a higher number under reconciliation and couldn’t simply vote to suspend it until after the 2022 midterm election. 

Other Democrats sought to portray the decision to accept McConnell’s offer as a win. 

“McConnell caved,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) after the meeting. “And now we’re going to spend our time doing child care, health care and fighting climate change.”

Democrats in recent days turned strongly against using the budget reconciliation process to raise the debt limit because it would have consumed up to two weeks of floor time and would have required many floor votes. 

Tags Charles Schumer debt ceiling Elizabeth Warren Jake Tapper Mitch McConnell Tammy Baldwin
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