Trump accuses McConnell of ‘folding’ on debt ceiling

Former President Trump accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday of “folding” in his standoff with Democrats over the debt limit shortly after the senator proposed a plan to delay a potential default.  

“Looks like Mitch McConnell is folding to the Democrats, again,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s got all of the cards with the debt ceiling, it’s time to play the hand. Don’t let them destroy our country!” 

Trump’s statement came hours after McConnell offered Democrats a deal on temporarily resolving the impasse. The country is estimated to have just weeks before it defaults on the national debt — a scenario that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said would spark an economic crisis and make the U.S. “a permanently weaker nation.”

The GOP leader proposed a temporary solution that would allow Democrats to raise the nation’s borrowing authority for two more months without having to resort to a procedural move known as reconciliation to circumvent the filibuster — or attempting to eliminate the filibuster for the debt ceiling.

Democratic senators on Wednesday signaled they will accept McConnell’s proposal.

The apparent deal comes after McConnell and other Republicans said for months that the party will not work with Democrats to take action on the debt limit, despite both parties doing just that during the Trump administration on multiple occasions.

The game of chicken over the debt ceiling comes amid opposition from McConnell and other GOP leaders to a massive social safety net package Democrats aim to pass using reconciliation.

Republicans want Democrats to address the debt limit themselves by using that same process. But Democrats say that’s not an option and have insisted Republicans work with them to address the debt limit because both parties approved the spending in the first place, partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In recent weeks, Trump has put pressure on Republicans to use the debt limit standoff to negotiate with Democrats on spending, calling the debt ceiling his party’s “only powerful tool.”

“The way I look at it, what the Democrats are proposing, on so many different levels, will destroy our country,” Trump said in a statement on Sept. 22. “Therefore, Republicans have no choice but to do what they have to do, and the Democrats will have no choice but to concede all of the horror they are trying to inflict upon the future of the United States.”

Tags Donald Trump Janet Yellen Joe Biden Mitch McConnell

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