May 17, 2022

McConnell says GOP will not assist in raising debt limit this December

Despite having been a driving force behind the compromise that facilitated a debt ceiling increase last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared on Friday, according to The Hill, that Democrats will receive no such help come December, when the issue will rear its head once more.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, McConnell warned, “Last night, Republicans filled the leadership vacuum that has troubled the Senate since January. I write to inform you that I will not provide such assistance again if your all-Democrat government drifts into another avoidable crisis.”

The catalyst for McConnell’s defiant tone appeared to be a fiery speech into which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) launched, which the Republican declared to be “so partisan, angry, and corrosive that even Democratic Senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him,” as the New York Post reported.

McConnell added that Schumer’s “tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence form Senator Schumer” and stated, “Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lacked to address the debt ceiling through standalone reconciliation, and all the tools to do it. They cannot invent another crisis and ask for my help.”

Schumer’s nasty invective included accusations that in attempting to thwart the debt ceiling increase, the GOP had “played a dangerous and risky partisan game,” with the lawmaker also adding, “I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work” and claiming that Democrats “pulled our country back from the cliff’s edge that Republicans tried to push us over.”

Indeed, as McConnell noted in his letter to Biden, Schumer’s attacks were even too much for fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (WV), who was seen with his head in his hands during the speech prior to departing the chamber in apparent frustration.

Speaking to reporters shortly after, Manchin said of Schumer’s remarks, “I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time. We have to de-weaponize. You can’t be playing politics. None of us can – on both sides. Civility is gone.”

According to The Hill, Republican Sens. Mitt Romney (UT) and John Thune (SD) went so far as to confront Schumer over his intemperate words, with Thune asserting, “I let him have it.”

Claiming that Schumer’s antics had “poisoned the well even further,” McConnell vowed that he would “not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement” when the debt ceiling dilemma re-emerges in December, but as is always the case when it comes to promises made by D.C. politicians, only time will tell whether that pledge holds true.

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