McConnell Says Debt Ceiling Vote Won't Happen This Year


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats were too hasty to celebrate the shock spending deal they made with President Donald Trump last week, saying it is not as good as they believe to be.

Grassley adds while he would have preferred Trump not side with the Democrats on the debt ceiling, he doesn't blame Trump for being dissatisfied with congressional Republicans, especially after the failure to repeal Obamacare.

"Getting Congress to give up the tool like that would probably be quite a challenge", he said.

"Since I was in charge of drafting the debt-ceiling provision that we inserted into the flood bill we likely - nearly certainly - are not going to have another debt-ceiling discussion until well into 2018", McConnell told The Times. "The minority leader and his team were trying to get us not to write it that way, but I did write it that way and that is the way it passed".

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"If they used extraordinary measures to extend the debt ceiling, there would be two cliffs instead of one", Schumer told reporters during a conference call. The bill authorizes a 90 day suspension of the debt ceiling and a Continuing Resolution authorizing the Treasury to spend the funds necessary to keep the government running for the next three months.

But separating the two issues could force Republicans to take two tough votes.

A spending impasse could lead to a government shutdown that Mr. McConnell has been determined to avoid while a failure to raise the debt ceiling could cause a government default - an even more catastrophic outcome.

Democrats, assessing the situation, said they were not sure it would inhibit them that significantly and were skeptical that Mr. McConnell would follow through since it would put Republicans on the spot for two hard votes. "So, yes. without the debt limit, we have leverage - leverage in the sense that they need our votes", Hoyer said. Delaying the debt-ceiling fight into 2018 also pushes it into the heart of the midterm election campaign. "I don't know why they'd want to do that", Schumer said.