McConnell 'confident' 10 GOP senators will back debt deal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHow Cruz Supreme Court case could lead to unlimited anonymous election spending Trump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections The Armageddon elections to come MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he’s “confident” enough Republicans will back a deal that paves the way for raising the debt ceiling by a simple majority.

“We’ll be voting on it Thursday, and I’m confident that this particular procedure, coupled with the avoidance of Medicare cuts, will achieve enough Republican support to clear the 60-vote threshold,” McConnell said.

Under the deal, at least 10 Republicans will need to help advance a bill that blocks Medicare cuts and lays out the instructions for taking up another bill to raise the debt ceiling by a simple majority.

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Democrats would then have to pass the bill to raise the debt ceiling by a specific number on their own.

Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThere is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections Juan Williams: It's Trump vs. McConnell for the GOP's future Biden's year two won't be about bipartisanship  MORE (S.D.) and Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThere is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down MORE (Mo.), the No. 2 and No. 4 GOP senators, both predicted Republicans would help advance the bill that lays out the instructions for the debt ceiling.

McConnell briefed the Senate GOP caucus on the agreement during a Tuesday lunch.

McConnell’s confidence comes after an October fight on a short-term debt hike sparked hours of behind-the-scenes wrangling, with McConnell and his leadership team going down to the wire to shore up enough GOP support.

McConnell vowed after the showdown, when he faced high-profile criticism from former President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE and his own caucus, that Republicans wouldn’t help advance a debt ceiling increase again.

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McConnell, speaking to reporters, said his “red line” is “intact” because the deal essentially sets up a fast-track process that lets Democrats raise the debt ceiling on their own. Republicans have wanted Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own under budget reconciliation.

“I think this is in the best interest of the country by avoiding default. I think it is also in the best interest of Republicans,” he said.

McConnell added that the agreement was “consistent with Republican values” and allows Democrats to “proudly own” the debt ceiling vote.