Democrats Raise Debt Ceiling

U.S. Senate leaders have agreed to raise the Treasury Department’s borrowing authority until early December, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “We have reached an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December and it’s our hope we can get this done as soon as today,” Schumer said, referring to a vote on passage of the legislation. Biden does not seem to mind the Republicans’ issues against the increase, he said he would attempt to pass it even if that meant ignoring a filibuster. 

Republican Party Blocked First Attempts 

A source Reuters did not identify said the deal calls for a debt limit increase of $480 billion to the current $28.4 trillion. Republicans blocked previous attempts to raise the debt limit through the end of 2022. Now congress must reach a decision about this while still facing a deadline for funding the government in December. Democrats also want to pass two massive spending bills in the coming weeks, including a large social policy package and bipartisan infrastructure bill. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a temporary increase that would not be blocked The Republican party, despite what Republicans have promised the people all along. Democrats are going along with a two-month extension, though they don’t seem as keen on meeting the other demands of McConnell. McConnell wanted democrats to use the weeks to pass a debt ceiling extension through reconciliation.

What do Republican People Think?

“Well, we screwed up,” Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “For two months we’ve promised to the American people that we would not help the Democratic Party raise the debt ceiling so that they could spend three and a half to five trillion dollars through reconciliation. We let the people down, and we made the Democrats believe we are all talk and no action. At the end of the day, every Republican voted against raising the debt ceiling, every Democrat voted for it. We made a promise for two months that we would make them do it without our help, and we folded. I hate that. We are in a hole. We have to dig out of the hole, and we can’t. We shot ourselves in the foot tonight, but we will revisit the issue in December.”

Debt Ceiling Raised

Hannity pointed out that Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema were opposed to the $3.5 trillion bill and suggested McConnell should not assist Democrats in trying to pass it in any way. “This is the Democrats’ problem and people like Mitch McConnell, if you wanna be a conservative and you wanna be a leader, you need to stop being a hostage to scary government shutdown rhetoric,” Hannity said. He is referencing how before the White House meeting, the administration warned that if the borrowing limit isn’t extended, it could set off an international financial crisis the United States might not be able to manage, as well as lead to United States government shutdown. “A default would send shock waves through global financial markets and would likely cause credit markets worldwide to freeze up and stock markets to plunge,” the White House Council of Economic Advisers said.  “Employers around the world would likely have to begin laying off workers.” Biden doesn’t seem to care about what republicans think, as he has threatened to ignore the use of a filibuster in order to pass the hike and “avoid these issues.”

Biden Wanted to Ignore Filibuster

The Senate is split 50-50 between the parties, which has allowed Republicans to use the filibuster to block Democratic efforts to suspend the debt limit as well as other Democratic initiatives. Biden said that Democrats would consider making an “exception to the filibuster” in this case to hike the debt ceiling and “defend the economy.” That idea seemed unlikely to succeed, according to Senator Joe Manchin, who said he would not support it. “I’ve been very, very clear where I stand on the filibuster. I’ve been very clear nothing changes,” Manchin said during a capitol hill news conference. However, can the President decide to ignore the filibuster?

What will this debt hike cost America in the long run? Will the things it supposedly saves be worth the things we could lose? Will the Republican Party bring a better option to the table? Or better yet, will they at least just stand firm behind what they promise the people in December? Biden has threatened to ignore the rules of the filibuster in order to get things done. Some assure that could never happen, but if it did, what could that mean for other issues later on in his presidency? Is he going to attempt to give the Democratic party more power than Republicans? There can’t be a two-party system if one party is rolled over and ignored. 

Written by: Erinn Malloy

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