McConnell Throws Himself Into Debt Limit Battle

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) has stated that he is going to accept President Biden’s invitation to meet at the White House on May 9th, to discuss with the top four Congress leaders the options for increasing the debt limit. However, he has proceeded to affirm that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is going to be the Republican point person during the talks.

On Monday, Biden invited leaders from both parties to discuss an increase in the debt limit. The invitations were made only hours after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen revealed that with their current calculations, they expected that the extraordinary measures taken to stop the country from defaulting could expire as soon as June 1. If they expire, the country will be unable to fulfill its obligations and it will default.

McConnell has repeatedly stated in the past few weeks that it would be up to McCarthy and Biden to come up with a deal to increase the debt limit and that he would not be involved in the talks. However, as the two have been at a standstill since February, McConnell stated that he would be attending the first meeting arranged in months.

He added that with the House having already passed a bill that would raise the debt ceiling, while also cutting spending and decreasing the budget deficit, the Republicans have made their priorities clear and it will be up to Biden to align with the House Republicans priorities. He proceeded to reaffirm that he did not believe it possible for a deal to be negotiated through the Senate and then sent to the House.