Biden Opposes Changing Senate Rules to Raise Debt Limit

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Biden Opposes Changing Senate Rules to Raise Debt Limit

 

President Joe Biden opposes amending the filibuster to suspend or raise the debt ceiling, thereby ruling out a break-the-glass option to escape financial disaster, according to the White House.

 

Biden’s view on altering the filibuster has not changed, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, as Democrats look for ways to cope with the coming debt ceiling deadline despite Senate Republicans’ refusal to help. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had told congressional leaders earlier in the day that her agency may run out of money by October 18, resulting in a calamitous default on the government’s debt, crippling the whole US economy.

 

“At that point, we expect Treasury would be left with very limited resources that would be depleted quickly,” the secretary wrote. “It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date.”

 

Questions about how the debt ceiling will be raised have been festering for months. But they have taken on increasing urgency as Senate Republicans continue to filibuster a debt increase even as the deadline for default approaches.

 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that Democrats should raise the ceiling alone, but he has also closed off all avenues for them to do so, save one: an amended reconciliation bill that would occupy a fair chunk of Senate floor time before Democrats could pass it by party-line vote.

 

Democrats in Congress are at odds over whether they have enough time to do that and the next steps forward. The party tried to pass a debt limit hike alongside a measure to fund the government last week. But that was filibustered by Senate Republicans.

 

On Tuesday, Democrats sought unanimous consent to pass a debt ceiling hike by a simple majority vote. Republicans objected to that too, further angering White House officials who were already chafing at their refusal to fall in line on a vote they’ve been trying to portray as almost pro forma.

 

Biden has coordinated his approach with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, but has publicly deferred to the congressional leaders on how to maneuver out of the jam. On Monday evening, they discussed possibly raising the debt ceiling through budget reconciliation, something White House officials had been saying they were loath to do.

 

Source: Politico

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