We aren't asking Republicans to support it when it comes time for a vote. We only ask that they get out of the way as Democrats pass it on our own. — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
We aren't asking Republicans to support it when it comes time for a vote. We only ask that they get out of the way as Democrats pass it on our own. — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Democrats attempt the near-impossible: Shaming Mitch McConnell
The latest debt-ceiling showdown is the most recent example of how the wily Kentucky senator is ready to crush governing norms and conventions if they advance his political goals, thanks to his extraordinary thick hide that is an undeniable political asset. Just because Democrats joined the GOP in raising the debt limit when Republicans were in the majority doesn't mean the favor will be repaid now that the situation is reversed.

And given McConnell's habit of making narrow, partisan political calculations, there's no reason for him to change now. His mastery of Senate procedure and the politics of obstruction and brinkmanship have helped him win and wield power in the past, throttling the goals of Democratic presidents and majority leaders when the GOP slips into the minority. And his ability to shield his senators from tough votes earns him their loyalty -- one reason why ex-President Donald Trump's clumsy reported attempts to oust him have little chance of succeeding.

McConnell's critics often argue that he's compromising Senate custom, the Constitution or American national interests for his own naked partisan ends. But don't expect such claims to move him. After all, his approach built a generational conservative majority on the Supreme Court and made him one of the most dominant political figures in decades in Washington.

... In another example of McConnell's willingness to put the pursuit of power before principle, he vigorously condemned Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection and the invasion by a mob of his beloved Senate. His comments triggered speculation that he might finally cut Trump loose and bury the former President's hopes of reviving a political career that complicated McConnell's own.

But when political expediency and the hope of winning back the Senate in 2022 -- and the need to avoid alienating Trump's base voters required it, he voted against convicting Trump in his impeachment trial over the outrage.

In demeanor, intellect and temperament, McConnell could hardly be more different than Trump. But his willingness to compromise constitutional principles for power is squarely in line with a Republican Party that in recent years has shown that there are no limits on its aggressive hunt for dominance in Washington.

... Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appears to have been trying to play a McConnell-style game himself to saddle Republicans with intense pressure to act to avoid disaster. The question now is if the New York senator would allow the economy to go over the cliff to see whether his bet that the GOP would pay a price is right.

Schumer said on Monday that it was imperative to get a bill raising the debt ceiling to Biden's desk by the end of the week -- and he's lining up a vote on a bill already passed by the House that would do so.

"We aren't asking Republicans to support it when it comes time for a vote. We only ask that they get out of the way as Democrats pass it on our own," Schumer said.

But with the certainty that Republicans will not play ball, the bill will fall short of the filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes -- and will further spook the markets and observers watching the US with alarm from abroad.

And in the end, McConnell has the advantage since by holding the White House and both chambers of Congress, the Democrats have the institutional responsibility to act -- even though, as usual, the Senate minority leader appears to be the one wielding power.
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/05/politics/mitch-mcconnell-debt-ceiling/index.html