- Mitch McConnell just offered the Democrats a two-month deadline on the debt ceiling.
- Although they take his offer, McConnell insisted they would not get help then – they should raise it by reconciliation.
- It would prevent a mid-October default on government debt, but a Democrat immediately called it a “bullsh * t” offer.
Mitch McConnell is offering Democrats a two-month debt ceiling increase, which would prevent a sovereign debt default by December, the Republican senator said in a announcement on Wednesday.
The Senate minority leader had previously insisted that Democrats would have to raise the debt ceiling along party lines, which given his opposition is only possible through the time-consuming procedure called reconciliation. His statement makes it clear that this offer would just delay it until December.
“This will make the Democrats apologize for the time constraint they created and give the United Democratic government more than enough time to pass independent debt legislation through reconciliation,” he said.
The offer marks the first admission in the standoff between Democrats and Republicans over the debt crisis. For weeks, Republicans in the Senate were determined that Democrats should raise the ceiling on their own. Democrats, however, argued that the GOP should support the measure as it would fund the spending approved under the Trump administration.
Still, McConnell’s offer would only delay a showdown. Democrats will be pressured to raise or suspend the border again before December, and the options are few. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has repeatedly pushed back toward using reconciliation, a process that would allow 50 Democrats to raise the ceiling on their own.
Some Democrats were very overwhelmed by McConnell’s proposal. Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono told reporters it was a “bullsh * t” offer.
The new deadline also lands close to the date on which state funding has expired. The legislators’ latest funding bill only keeps the government open until December 3rd. If Congress fails to approve a debt ceiling correction or a new financing measure, the United States could default on its debt and shut down before the end of the year.
“There’s always a fear here,” Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranked Senate Democrat, told Insider. “You leave too much for one at the end of the year.”