Sen. Joe Manchin (DW VA) on Monday went against the party leadership and suggested that Democrats should use a reconciliation process to raise the debt limit as Republicans doubled down on their commitment to vote against any increase in government spending. Huh.
Republicans, upset with Democrats’ partisan bills, have demanded that Democrats also use a partisan reconciliation process to raise the debt limit. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained the situation in a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday, writing, “Since your party wants to govern alone, it must also handle the debt ceiling alone.”
Republicans have since raised the challenge again, saying they would eliminate any non-conciliation bill that raises the debt limit.
This route has long been rejected by the Democratic leadership in both houses of Congress. In early September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected Democrats’ calls to include a debt limit increase in a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.
The route is not a Democratic leadership priority, with some polls showing that such debt ceiling increases are unpopular with the American people (PDF).
But if the debt cap is not raised, the country will face its first default in history due to the expansion of government spending, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned would be “catastrophic”.
Biden said in a White House live stream, “Defaulting on debt will hurt itself that takes our economy off a cliff.”
On September 27, Republicans stood by their threats, voting unanimously against starting debate on an ongoing resolution that included an increase in the debt limit.
Munchkin: ‘We can’t let the loan limit run out’
After that vote, leaders rushed to draft legislation to avoid government shutdowns, but continued to reject the use of the reconciliation process to raise the debt limit without a Republican vote.
At a press conference the day after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) said “going through a reconciliation is risky for the country and a non-starter,” adding that raising the debt limit To use conciliation is “very, very risky.”
“We are not following him,” he announced.
In a speech before his government on debt limits, Biden echoed this sentiment, saying that the road to reconciliation is “filled with all sorts of potential dangers of miscalculation.”
But on Monday, Manchin broke ties with party leaders, stressing the importance of raising the debt limit by any means possible.
“We shouldn’t be ruling out anything,” the West Virginia Democrat told reporters. [including reconciliation]. We just can’t let the debt limit expire, we can’t. “
Munchkin, who has long promised that he supports Filibuster and will vote to defend it, asked reporters if he would like to get rid of the rule to allow Democrats to move through an increase in the debt limit. Will consider.
“Filibster has nothing to do with debt limits,” Manchin said. “We have other tools we can use,” he explained, ruling, “if we have to use them, we must use them.”
In times of unified party governments, minority parties have often used debt ceilings to play the political hard game. President George W. During Bush’s second term, then-Senator Biden joined his party in voting unanimously against raising the debt limit, forcing Republicans to raise the limit on their own. Schumer also voted against raising the loan limit at the time.
Despite blaming Republicans, Schumer indicated that reconciliation could be used
Schumer blamed the crisis on “Republican stupidity”, saying that the minority party had become a “party of default”. Schumer and others continue to emphasize that any lapse would be made entirely by Republicans.
Biden also blamed Republicans, saying they were “disrupting” a vote with the use of filibuster and “playing Russian roulette with the American economy.” He did not address Republican criticism that his $3.5 trillion budget bill has been partisan in nature, with little room for negotiation to win Republican support.
But after Munchkin’s brief statement to journalists emphasizing the importance of raising the debt limit anyway, party leaders have also indicated they rally behind the approach, despite their long opposition to using reconciliation. can do.
In a letter Monday to Senate Democrats, Schumer wrote, “Let me be clear about the task ahead of us: We have to get a bill on the president’s desk dealing with the debt limit by the end of the week. Period.” Despite his previous opposition to using reconciliation, Schumer indicates here that leadership may be open to alternatives.
“I’m not going to say anything impossible,” Sen. Dick Durbin said of using conciliation to raise the debt limit.
The clock is ticking for action by Congress, because if action is not taken the United States will default on its existing debts by October 18. Under the terms of the Republican threat, which the party has shown to be prepared to act, Democratic leaders have no choice but to use conciliation or face default.
Nick Ciolano contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times