As Congressional Democrats plan to spend $4.5 trillion total in two different bill in the next few weeks, one major problem stands in their way.
The debt ceiling.
The federal limit for how much borrowed money the government can hold expired over the summer, and the Treasury Department has been pulling common financial tactics to keep the government running.
Now, though, time is running out. And if Democrats want to pass any new spending, they need to raise the debt ceiling first.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has spoken out on the debt ceiling, and it doesn’t look good for Democrats.
Democrats, with approval from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have called on Republicans to help raise the debt ceiling, but Sen. McConnell said it isn’t happening.
“The Leader repeated to Secretary Yellen what he has said publicly since July: This is a unified Democrat government, engaging in a partisan reckless tax and spending spree,” said Sen. McConnell’s spokesman Doug Andres. “They will have to raise the debt ceiling on their own, and they have the tools to do it.”
President Joe Biden has been a vocal supporter of passing the legislation, though he hasn’t issued a statement on certain details.
McConnell said he does not want Republicans to be complicit in raising the debt ceiling.
“Let’s be clear: With a Democratic President, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate, Democrats have every tool they need to raise the debt limit. It is their sole responsibility,” McConnell wrote on Twitter. “Republicans will not facilitate another reckless, partisan taxing and spending spree.”
At the same time, some Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., have made clear they cannot vote for a bill costing $3.5 trillion.
“However, I have serious concerns about the grave consequences facing West Virginians and every American family if Congress decides to spend another $3.5 trillion,” Sen. Manchin said in a statement. “Over the past year, Congress has injected more than $5 trillion of stimulus into the American economy – more than any time since World War II – to respond to the pandemic.”