Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY), on Wednesday offered a short-term suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling to avoid the threat of a looming national default and economic crisis, until Democrats are able to pass a more permanent solution before the end of the year, so long as Democrats put a precise dollar figure on the amount of the increase. It isn’t clear whether Democrats would accept the offer.
“To protect the American people from a near-term Democrat-created crisis, we will also allow Democrats to use normal procedures to pass an emergency debt limit extension at a fixed dollar amount to cover current spending levels into December,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“This will moot Democrats’ excuses about the time crunch they created and give the unified Democratic government more than enough time to pass standalone debt limit legislation through reconciliation,” McConnel added.
This stopgap offer from McConnel would take some pressure off both parties to reach a compromise by October 18, when the Treasury Department estimates the U.S. will otherwise exhaust its emergency efforts to pay the government’s bills.
McConnell reiterated Wednesday that the GOP would also assist Democrats in expediting a reconciliation bill to lift the borrowing cap if Democratic leadership wanted to address the borrowing cap before the October deadline.
Most economists say that a U.S. default would spell economic calamity, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Tuesday that she would “fully expect a recession if that happens.”
Republicans and Democrats have clashed in recent weeks over how best to raise or suspend the federal borrowing limit and it was not immediately clear if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), would be open to McConnell’s potential plan.
The DCPATRIOT will keep you updated on this ongoing debacle between the two parties.