On Friday, Axios reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is warning he will allow the debt ceiling to be breached in December if Democrats do not use reconciliation to raise the ceiling themselves.
"Less than 24 hours after Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a point of trying to spin the narrative to his party's favor, telling President Biden via letter that Republicans will not assist again if Democrats 'drift into another avoidable crisis,'" reported Shawna Chen. "Failing to raise the debt ceiling by the deadline would have paused paychecks to federal workers, Medicare benefits, military salaries, tax refunds, Social Security checks and more."
The debt ceiling is a tool that authorizes debt to be issued for money already spent, as opposed to raising money for new programs.
After a lengthy standoff over the debt ceiling, Republicans agreed to allow Democrats to suspend the debt ceiling for two months this week. However, this vote was contentious within their own caucus, with several Republicans angry at McConnell for his perceived surrender when he had the upper hand.
McConnell has demanded Democrats use the reconciliation process, which would avoid a Republican filibuster, to pass a longer-term fix for the debt ceiling, an option Democratic leaders have resisted because it would be a drawn-out process that would give Republicans opportunities to add politically embarrassing amendments.
McConnell on Friday night lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who had accused Republicans of playing a "dangerous and risky partisan game."
"I am writing to make it clear that in light of Senator Schumer's hysterics and my grave concerns about the ways that another vast, reckless, partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement," McConnell wrote in his letter to Biden.