Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and other Democrats have drafted a proposal to extend the debt limit during next year’s elections. They’re not ready to call that play out on the Senate floor just yet, given the very real possibility that a Republican filibuster of rising debt could send economic forecasters into a downward spiral. Instead, this week the Chamber is focusing on judicial choices.
In an ominous nod to House Republicans who refuse to budge, many senators in President Joe Biden’s party expected Congress to end up passing a clean debt increase or “something close” to a clean, as the senator put it. Angus King (I am Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats. Some Democrats have indicated they are willing to make major spending concessions – but only after the debt ceiling issue is resolved.
“We’ve got to get through a clean debt ceiling, and then we’ve got to set a path forward so we don’t do that every year,” the senator said. John Tester (D-Mont.), who is facing a tough re-election campaign, “I would like to see that done by figuring out ways that we can reduce the deficit and reduce the debt over the long term. And quite frankly, we get to a point where we have a balanced budget.”
However, Senate Republicans are still not backing down on the Speaker Kevin McCarthynegotiating position. They support his hard-line tactic as the GOP’s inaugural attempt to avoid default — leading negotiations with Biden by passing the conservative wish list — and recognize that any move away from McCarthy for now weakens the party’s position.
When asked if he would vote for a clean debt bill, the senator said. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), no stranger to bipartisan deals, replied, “I’m for home saving.”
We should get out of the way in the Senate and let Biden and McCarthy strike a deal. “It should be somewhat heartening that Biden has now decided to get off the couch,” the senator said. John Cornyn (R-Texas), ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It will not be a clean increase in the debt ceiling.”
Of course, Senate Republicans have said that before that and twice in 2021, he raised the debt limit without strings attached. Schumer clearly sees the same possibility: He spoke to Biden about raising the “clean” debt ceiling Monday, according to a spokesperson, and issued a joint statement with the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) Claim more debt without concessions.
But with McCarthy leading the House, the conditions are less favorable for this kind of outcome. Several of the deal-making GOP senators who provided key votes on the debt ceiling in the past Congress have retired, replaced by more conservative members.
Put a finer point on that, Senator. Lindsey Graham (RS.C) said: “I don’t think there are 10 Republican votes to undermine Kevin McCarthy.”
Those factors have pushed the Senate GOP behind McCarthy, who passed a debt ceiling increase last week that includes scrapping key Democrats’ priorities and sharp spending cuts.
Asked if it would be a good idea for GOP leaders to meet with Biden, the conservative senator said. Ron Johnson (R-W) laughed and said he would take a positive view of it for now: “Maybe that’s progress. We’re going to get Majority Leader Schumer to get the House bill to the floor.”
Some Democrats say they’ll be fine with that. senator. Tim Kane (D-Va.) said he “feels very comfortable” voting against McCarthy’s bill to show it cannot pass the Senate.
A failed vote to raise the clean debt ceiling may be less palatable to Republicans who the Biden camp could portray as sweatshirts. Cornyn said the Senate should not go that route: “I don’t think it helps get anything done for the Senate. We know it’s a Biden-McCarthy deal.”
Instead, Schumer is deploying his forces to hold hearings on the House bill and focus on attacking its potential impact on government programs and the people who depend on them. Its allies said the party is not backing down: a clean debt ceiling increase is a prelude to negotiations.
The mood for both parties is flashbacks to 2011, when Democrats winced as debt-ceiling talks with the House GOP led to an upper borrowing limit but, in the end, sharp budget cuts.
The Senate should vote for a clean debt ceiling. Senator said. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who serves on Schumer’s leadership team.
However, crises have a way of evading established situations. Yellen’s warning about the impending deadline arrived just after markets closed Monday, and one month is a long time in Congress. There are already whispers of upcoming congressional recesses being canceled to deal with a clash that could quickly consume all of Washington.
There are also skepticism from the GOP about how realistic Yellen’s early June deadline is. The independent Congressional Budget Office, which has previously said the US could default sometime between July and September, agreed with Yellen on Monday that there is a “much greater risk” from the Treasury Department that it will run out of cash next month thanks to a disappointing tax season.
The Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank that also specializes in predicting when debt defaults will occur, plans to release its updated estimates next week after waiting for full tax season data.
But for now, Republicans feel they have a stronger negotiating position because the House GOP has approved a bill and the Democratic Senate has not. senator. Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.), a member of her party’s leadership, said McConnell should “support the speaker and his efforts, and I think that’s what he’s going to do.”
“The ball is in their court,” she said of the Democrats.
Daniela Diaz contributed to this report.