Democrats may think they outsmarted Mitch McConnell (and maybe they have) but their recent saber rattling over the debt ceiling increase is unfounded and baseless.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to lift the debt ceiling by about a half trillion dollars, temporarily avoiding a supposed economic crisis that was headed for the U.S. After weeks of partisan gridlock and back-and-forth, Congress is sending the bill to Joe Biden’s desk.
The House briefly interrupted its weeklong recess to pass a rule governing debate for three separate bills to which the ceiling raise was attached. It passed on a party-line vote given Republicans continuing opposition to lifting the ceiling.
Republicans, however, criticized the increase and the means by which it was passed.
Ultimately the raised debt ceiling does nothing for America’s economy save kicking the can down the road until another economic disaster looms.
Last Thursday, McConnell folded to Chuck Schumer giving Democrats the needed votes to overcome the filibuster and pass a bill that raised the U.S. debt ceiling by $480 billion. While Democrats consider this a victory, this increase will only cover the nation’s expenses through December. Another arduous battle is on the way.
McConnell had long-insisted that Democrats raise the ceiling using budget reconciliation, allowing it to bypass a filibuster, and has said they must do so when they need to raise it again. But like always, Mitch folded, bending the knee to Chuck and Nancy.
“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work,” Schumer gloated.
His comments drew bipartisan criticism, and McConnell swiftly came out and said that Democrats should not rely on any type of compromise in the future.
“Last night, in a bizarre spectacle, Senator Schumer exploded in a rant that was so partisan, angry, and corrosive that even Democratic Senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him,” McConnell said.
In addition to the coming debt ceiling fight, lawmakers must also fund the government for the next fiscal year by Dec. 3 or face federal shutdown. Democrats are also trying to pass Biden’s sweeping budget and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which have both fallen victim to party infighting.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that she wants to pass both bills before the end of October, but after Tuesday the House and Senate are out for the rest of the week, giving lawmakers just days to do so.
This begs the questions: Is Congress ever in Washington anymore?
Author: Asa McCue