McConnell Issues New Threat to Democrats

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signed a letter in which he noted that he, along with over 40 members of the Senate GOP conference, was not going to support any bill that included a debt ceiling increase without spending cuts and budget reforms.

The letter was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and it marks the clearest statement that McConnell has made regarding his position on a debt ceiling increase, which is necessary in order to avoid an expected national default as early as next month. In the letter, he pointed out that the GOP is not going to be supporting any bill that would seek to increase the debt ceiling but that would not include any budget cuts, arguing that Senate Republicans were going to stand united with House Republicans.

The letter, led by conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), is hoping to ensure that the Republicans will be able to maintain a filibuster and thus can stop an increase in the debt ceiling without spending cuts, which is what the Democrats have been calling for.

The letter has been signed by Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.), Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.), Policy Committee Chairwoman Joni Ernst (Iowa), Conference Vice Chairwoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines (Mont.).

McConnell reiterated on Tuesday that it would be up to the House Speaker and the President to reach an agreement regarding the debt ceiling. This sentiment was also echoed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who stated that the Senate would “sit this one out.”

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