WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says there is no room for President Barack Obama’s plan to permanently raise the debt ceiling.
McConnell took to the Senate floor Thursday to say that the plan offered up by the president is one that doesn’t have support in his own party.
“With just a few weeks to go before a potentially devastating and entirely avoidable blow to the economy, the president proposed a plan that the members of his own party won’t even vote for,” McConnell said. “So I think it’s safe to say at this point that the president isn’t interested in a balanced agreement. He’s not particularly interested in avoiding the fiscal cliff. And he’s clearly not interested in cutting spending.”
McConnell said the president’s plan unfairly burdens small businesses, “not so he can lower the debt or the deficit, but so he can spend to his heart’s content.”
The senator later refused to permit a simple majority vote on the measure after Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the bill could pass with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate.
“Look, the only way we ever cut spending around here is by using the debate over the debt limit to do it. Now the President wants to remove that spur to cut altogether. It gets in the way of his spending plans,” McConnell said. “I assure you, it’s not going to happen. The American people want Washington to get spending under control. And the debt limit is the best tool we have to make the President take that demand seriously.”
McConnell says that the president’s deficit spending has made him an unsuitable candidate for limitless borrowing power.
“The American people want us to fight to cut spending. It’s a fight they deserve. We’re happy to have it.”
A financial crisis related to the debt ceiling in 2011 ended with the U.S. credit rating being dropped by Standard & Poorer’s. Political brinkmanship on the part of both parties drug out the talks. As a result markets were severely affected, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a 635 point drop in one day.
The debt ceiling is a measure of money borrowed by the U.S. federal government through an issueance of securities.