Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is warning Democrats they should not expect any support from the GOP on raising the national borrowing limit, citing Democrats’ plans to pass a sweeping $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, which he dubbed “their latest socialist shopping list.”
His comments come as Democrats look to move forward with a vote on a budget which would allow them to begin the reconciliation process, dodging the filibuster in the upper chamber on the massive “human infrastructure” package.
“In just a few days, our colleagues will start ramming through yet another reckless taxing and spending spree. Trillions more in inflationary spending when families just want good jobs and stable prices. But there’s something funny happening,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor on Thursday.
“Even as Democrats crow about how all this spending is so good and so needed, they’re petrified to vote for the credit limit increase that would make it possible,” he continued.
“Democrats are about to tell Republicans to go take a hike and start teeing up trillions more dollars in borrowing and spending without a single Republican vote. But at the same time they’re extolling the virtues of their latest socialist shopping list, they are afraid to up the limit on their credit card.”
The two-year suspension on the debt ceiling expired at the end of July, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged lawmakers to act swiftly to ensure the country does not default on its financial obligations.
McConnell noted that Democrats are weighing attaching the debt ceiling to a must-pass spending bill this fall, a move proponents hope would force Republicans to get on board.
But some GOP lawmakers have indicated Democrats should include it in their reconciliation package, allowing them to pass it without Republican support.
The Kentucky Republican accused lawmakers across the aisle of wanting Republicans to “give them political cover for the partisan debt bomb” as they look to move forward on the partisan infrastructure plan.
“Democrats want a new debt limit increase for the new borrowing and new spending that they have willfully piled up since they took power. About two trillion back in March. Trillions more sometime soon,” he said.
“They want to unleash another reckless taxing and spending spree with zero Republican inputs… oh, but when the bill comes, they say it’s time to split the check. Initiating another budget reconciliation process in a 50-50 Senate is as willfully partisan, as go-it-alone, as it gets. Especially in a Senate that keeps proving we can do bipartisan work.”
McConnell argued that the bipartisan infrastructure bill expected to pass the Senate by the end of the weekend proves they can work together, arguing Democrats should sideline their spending plans if they don’t want “spending and debt to be their signature legacy.”
“If our colleagues want to ram through yet another reckless taxing and spending spree without our input, if they want all this spending and debt to be their signature legacy, they should leap at the chance to own every bit of it,” he said.
“Let me make something perfectly clear: if they don’t need or want our input, they won’t get our help. They won’t get our help with the debt limit increase that these reckless plans will require. I could not be more clear. They have the ability. They control the White House, they control the House, they control the Senate. They can raise the debt ceiling, and if it’s raised, they will do it.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed McConnell for his lack of support for raising the debt ceiling, arguing “This debt is Trump debt. It’s COVID debt.”