Sen. McConnell comes out against debt-ceiling increase

 May 6, 2023

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has just made it clear to President Joe Biden and the Democrats that he, McConnell, will not support an increase of the debt ceiling unless significant changes are made to the budget and to spending. 

McConnell, according to The Hill, made his position known in a letter that was addressed to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) this week.

The letter has not only been signed by McConnell but it has also been signed by at least 40 other Senate Republicans.

The senator leading the effort is U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

"We will not be voting for . . ."

What the letter makes clear is that Senate Republicans are standing with House Republicans with regard to the debt ceiling.

"The Senate Republican conference is united behind the House Republican conference in support of spending cuts and structural budget reform as a starting point for negotiations on the debt ceiling," the letter reads.

It continues, "as such, we will not be voting for cloture on any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms."


With the prospect of default occurring in the near future - and the economic consequences that such a default would entail - congressional Democrats, led by Biden, and Republicans are in the process of negotiating the debt ceiling, the self-imposed limit on the money that the U.S. government is allowed to borrow in order to pay the bills.

Biden and the Democrats want to raise the debt ceiling, whereas Republicans - with their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives - are refusing to allow this to happen without significant concessions.

Negotiations are scheduled for this week, and all eyes will, in particular, be on Biden and on McCarthy.

McConnell's position

Up until now, McConnell has been unwilling to say much of anything about the debt ceiling battle. He has only said that the battle is between Biden and McCarthy.

McConnell, on Tuesday, said:

In this situation, and I’ve been a through a few of these debt-ceiling dramas, there is no solution in the Senate. We have divided government. The American people gave the Republicans the House, the Democrats have the presidency. The president and the Speaker need to reach an agreement to get us past this impasse

Now, however - through the letter to Schumer - McConnell has made it clear that he and most other Senate Republicans are united behind House Republicans.

While Senate Republicans can't do too much because of the fact that they are in the minority, they want to ensure that they can exercise the filibuster if necessary. It appears that Senate Republicans are close to having such support.

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