On Wednesday, McConnell—leaving out some choice details—explained how it all works in a political terrorist’s worldview.
“We all agree America must never default, the debt ceiling will need to be raised,” McConnell began. “We have a Democratic president, a Democratic House, Democratic Senate." Much like Republicans controlled everything in 2017/2018.
McConnell then said Democrats had operated on "a partisan basis" to pass the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill—which was exactly what Republicans did to pass their 2017 tax giveaway to the rich on a party-line vote. The main difference between the two bills was this: Democrats passed pandemic aid to shore up the economy, feed people, get the nation vaccinated, and save lives amid a global plague. Republicans passed their lavish tax cuts to enrich fat cats—and added some $2 trillion to the national debt in the process.
McConnell also speciously included the "reckless" Build Back Better Act, which hasn't even been passed into law yet so it's irrelevant to the issue of the national debt already amassed.
"So my advice to this Democratic government," McConnell said, "don’t play Russian roulette with our economy. Step up and raise the debt ceiling to cover all that you’ve been engaged in all year long."
Oh, lookey, Mitchy left out the nearly $8 trillion in debt Republicans led the way in racking up during Donald Trump's 4-year tenure. Imagine that—epic Mitch memory fail on a historic ballooning of the debt under GOP rule. How perfectly deceitful of him.
"So no effort to describe our position as irresponsible makes any sense," McConnell continued, "because the facts are indisputable. This is a totally Democratic government, they have an obligation to raise the debt ceiling, and they will do it."
Ah, yes, and the classic killing of another congressional norm on Mitch McConnell's watch. The debt ceiling has been raised or suspended some 80 times since 1960—almost always on a bipartisan basis, regardless of who's in the White House, who controls Congress, and who racked up the debt. Congress last suspended the debt ceiling in August 2019 in a bipartisan budget bill. In fact, the lion's share of the nation’s most recent debt happened on Trump's watch, but now McConnell says Democrats and Democrats alone must clean up the GOP's mess.
So, apparently, Democrats must go it alone. And this is where McConnell's treachery gets extra special. Democrats have just enough senators to raise the debt ceiling on a party-line vote except that... wait for it... Republicans plan to filibuster the bill, so it would require ten GOP senators to clear the procedural hurdle—rendering it out of reach for Democrats alone.
From NBC News: “Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, promised to filibuster it, saying there is ‘no universe’ in which he would consent to allowing a simple majority vote on extending the debt limit.”
Nice. So here's McConnell's logic: Democrats are solely responsible for paying the debts racked up under Republican rule, and they must do it and conceivably could do it, except that my GOP caucus and I won't let them do it.
As McConnell said, “No effort to describe our position as irresponsible makes any sense.”
Agreed, irresponsible really doesn't do Mitch McConnell's political terrorism justice.