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Schumer Says the Debt Ceiling Must Be Raised by End of Week

If the debt ceiling is to be raised, Democrats need to do it alone.
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Senate Majority Leader - Debt ceiling Lunch

With Janet Yellen harping on the October 18 X-Date, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Sets Up Vote on Debt Ceiling.

“Let me be clear about the task ahead of us: we must get a bill to the president’s desk dealing with the debt limit by the end of the week. Period,” Mr. Schumer (D., N.Y.) wrote in a letter to his Democratic colleagues. 

Late Monday, he took steps to have a Senate vote on legislation passed last week by the House to raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 16, 2022. But Republicans already telegraphed that they would block the bill during a vote likely to occur on Wednesday. Sixty votes are needed to clear a procedural hurdle, and the Senate is divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. 

“Why should we help facilitate their reckless spending and tax increases?” said Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas). “If they’re going to do it, they need to do it by themselves.”

Democrats would discuss the issue at their closed-doors lunch Tuesday.

Filibuster in Play

Under Senate rules, it takes 60 votes for passage unless rules are waved or a bill is advanced through a budget resolution process which only takes 51. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Republicans will not wave the rules. 

[Reconciliation] is the path they will need to take,” said McConnell.

When president Biden was asked if he could guarantee that the U.S. would be able to raise the debt ceiling before the deadline, the president replied “No, I can’t. That’s up to Mitch McConnell.

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What About Funding?

I thought this was taken care of until December when Democrats and Republicans recently extended budget funding through November. However, that was a funding measure only, not tied to the debt ceiling.

It's more than a bit arcane to budget items then have to raise the debt ceiling in these emergency procedures.

It would behoove Congress to simply raise the debt ceiling every time they appropriate new funding, but they don't. 

Even better, Congress should pass a measure making debt ceiling automatic with appropriations. 

We all know the debt ceiling will be raised.

Democrats will decide how at a lunch meeting today. But there is only one path, budget reconciliation, unless Republicans waive filibuster rules. 

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