McConnell blinks

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

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why it matters: McConnell, after months of refusing to budge on his insistence that Democrats suspend the debt limit through the budget reconciliation process, offered Democrats an alternative route to temporarily raise the debt limit through December. Tried to stop the changes by doing Filebuster.

Behind the scenes: McConnell’s decision was driven largely by Democrats’ new calls to go nuclear and revise the filibuster – which requires 60 votes to move forward on the key legislation – as he sought to break the debt-limit deadlock. .

  • “The biggest concern here is to save the 60-vote rule, save the filibuster,” a Republican senator told Nerdshala.
  • “If you compare the debt limit, which is raised repeatedly, to permanently replacing the Senate as an institution, it’s not even a close call,” the senator said.
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What we’re listening to: Democrats appear to be leaning toward a deal, according to Nerdshala’ talks with senior leadership aides.

  • Democratic leaders also delayed Wednesday’s scheduled cloture vote on a bill passed by the House to suspend debt limits until December 2022.
  • A Schumer aide told Nerdshala, “It appears the two sides are close to an agreement, but talks about the specifics are ongoing and neither leader has said anything formally, so…”
  • “Any option would provide Democrats who control Washington with even more time to pass standalone debt ceiling legislation through reconciliation,” said an aide to the Republican leadership. “These are reasonable paths to avoid default.”
  • If both sides accept the deal, they will create more uncertainty at the end of the year. Government funding is also set to expire in December without renewed action.

big picture: Democrats are already previewing how they will use the message in their favor, while their Republican counterparts remain silent.

  • “McConnell bowed,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told reporters. “And now we are going to spend our time looking after children, health care and fighting climate change.”
  • Several Republican senators, including Sens Pat Tommy (R-Pa.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), declined to comment on McConnell’s offer, asking whether they would support the short-term. will do. Increase in loan limit.
  • He told Nerdshala that he wanted to see where the talks took place before weighing in.
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Republican senators also avoided questions About whether they were disappointed with McConnell’s approach.

  • Former President Trump, however, was quick to criticize McConnell: “It looks like Mitch McConnell is folding for Democrats again,” he said in a statement.

description: McConnell’s proposal included two options, which he laid out in a statement Wednesday.

  • One would allow Democrats to fast-track the suspension of the debt limit using a partisan budget reconciliation process.
  • The second will raise this limit to a specified figure by December.
  • Schumer has already announced that Democrats will not use conciliation to raise the debt limit.

Background: McConnell is adamant about keeping the filibuster in place and has managed to rally the Senate Republican convention behind him.

  • earlier this year, He warned that his allies could not “Even starting to imagine what the Senate of a completely scorched earth” would look like without the filibusters.

What are they saying: “We are working on an agreement so that we can deal with the debt limit, so that we can fully focus on fulfilling the president’s domestic agenda,” Sen. Mazi Hirono (D-Hawaii) said.

  • Asked if this meant a short-term extension, he replied, “Maybe.”
  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
  • Representative Chip Roy (R-Texas) seriously tweeted In McConnell, writing: “Uh… voting for an increase in the debt limit, short term or not, means you’re buying it and related policies…”

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