CNN's Manu Raju reported Monday evening that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is at work on a plot to avert the next government shutdown.
The plan, however, would have Democrats cast a vote to raise the debt ceiling. It's something Republicans did three times under former President Donald Trump, adding over $7.8 trillion to the deficit. McConnell assumes that the vote would be toxic for Democrats, but the reality is that shutting down the government would be toxic for Republicans.
To accomplish his goal, Raju writes that Republicans will need to cooperate under the Senate rules, and break the filibuster. That would mean McConnell would have to find ten Republicans that would agree to allow the debt ceiling bill to come up and then vote against raising it.
The report also says that McConnell has been working behind the scenes with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for weeks.
"The country is never going to default," McConnell promised, speaking to a Wall Street Journal event Monday. "We frequently have drama associated with this decision. But I can assure you the country will never default."
According to Raju, Schumer and McConnell are working on a deal that would allow the debt ceiling to be raised by just 51 votes in the Senate without a filibuster. It would then give both sides the ability to weaponize the vote even further. The crisis is a relatively new one, created by Congress and could easily be eliminated by Congress to avoid future government shutdowns.
If Democrats are scared of ads attacking the debt ceiling increase, all they must do is pass a debt ceiling number that must not exceed a "Googol," which is 10 to the power of 100. The number is so large it draws attention to the absurdity of the ongoing fight that nearly shuts down the government every time there's a narrow margin in each chamber of Congress. It's easy for Democrats explain to voters and difficult for Republicans to explain without looking silly.