Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to find a way for Democrats to raise the country’s debt ceiling without Republican votes in Congress.
“Bipartisanship is not a light switch that Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer can flip on to borrow money and flip off to spend it,” McConnell wrote, in reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a letter that was obtained by Politico. “Republicans’ position is simple. We have no list of demands. For two and a half months, we have simply warned that since your party wishes to govern alone, it must handle the debt limit alone as well.”
He went on to say that during Biden’s time in the Senate, between 2003 and 2006 specifically, Biden “joined Senate Democrats in opposing debt limit increases and made Republicans do it ourselves. You explained on the Senate floor that your ‘no’ votes did not mean you wanted the majority to let the country default, but rather that the President’s party had to take responsibility for a policy agenda which you opposed. Your view then is our view now.
“There is one difference between then and now: Leader Schumer requested and won new powers to repeatedly reuse the fast-track, party-line process. As a result, Senate Democrats do not need Republican cooperation in any shape or form to do their job. Democrats do not need our consent to set a vote at 51 instead of 60,” McConnell wrote. “Nonpartisan experts confirm that Senate Democrats have every necessary tool to pass a standalone debt limit increase through reconciliation and enough time to do it before late October. As I have warned for months, this is the path they will need to take.”
McConnell concludes: “I respectfully submit that it is time for you to engage directly with congressional Democrats on this matter. Your lieutenants in Congress must understand that you do not want your unified Democratic government to sleepwalk toward an avoidable catastrophe when they have had nearly three months’ notice to do their job.”