With the nation’s economy on the brink, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) capitulated to Democratic pressure to raise the debt ceiling.
After McConnell and 10 other GOP senators voted on Thursday to raise the cap by $480 billion in a stopgap measure expiring in December, several in his own party are now calling for him to be ousted from the leadership position.
According to Fox News, former President Donald Trump asserted that McConnell is “not the guy” after he essentially gave up critical leverage in the Democratic Party’s bid to pass a partisan $3.5 trillion spending package.
“Not the guy”
Although the GOP leader previously said he planned to force Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own, McConnell ended up joining with a minority of Republicans in crossing the aisle for the latest budget deal.
The minority leader’s decision came after President Joe Biden called on Republicans to “get out of the way” and allow for a deal that would forestall a possible default later this month.
Trump, for his part, said that the Kentucky Republican “made a big mistake,” which highlighted the need for “new leadership” within the party.
The former president complained that McConnell gave Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Senate Democrats “lifeline” and provided them with “so much time to figure out what to do because they were in a big bind; they were unable to do anything.”
“Out of line”
Other prominent Republicans have also spoken out against McConnell, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
In his remarks this week, the Texas Republican accused the Senate GOP leader of making fools out of his own party by caving to fears that Democrats would kill the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to advance most legislation.
“Schumer is out there crowing and doing a victory dance,” Cruz said, according to the Daily Caller. “[Sen.] Elizabeth Warren [D-MA] is out there crowing and doing a victory dance, they’re saying that Republicans have completely surrendered to us and the sad thing is they’re right,” Cruz said.
Schumer did not hesitate to deliver a partisan speech accusing Republicans of bringing the nation to the “cliff’s edge” of an economic collapse — even after his party received the GOP support needed to get his way.
For his part, Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-SD) denounced Schumer’s remarks as “out of line,” particularly after he and 10 other Republicans “helped him solve a problem.”