McConnell pours cold water on Trump-Schumer effort to repeal debt ceiling

McConnell pours cold water on Trump-Schumer effort to repeal debt ceiling

McConnell pours cold water on Trump-Schumer effort to repeal debt ceiling

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell voiced doubt on Tuesday that the US debt ceiling would be eliminated permanently, an idea floated by Democrats and embraced by Republican President Donald Trump last week.

"Since I was in charge of drafting the debt ceiling provision that we inserted into the flood bill we likely - nearly certainly - are not going to have another debt ceiling discussion until well into 2018", McConnell said on the podcast. "And getting Congress to give up a tool like that would probably be quite a challenging undertaking", McConnell told reporters.

"As far as the debt ceiling is concerned, as many of you now know, we'll not be revisiting the debt ceiling until sometime next year. The minority leader and his team were trying to get us not to write it that way, but I did write it that way and that is the way it passed".

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"I think I can safely say the debt ceiling and the spending issue in December will be decoupled because the debt ceiling will not come up until sometime in 2018", he said.

And House Republican leadership could be forced to lean on Democrats to help pass either bill if they aren't able to win over enough conservatives.

The news comes as a blow to Democrats hoping the short-term debt limit deal struck with President Donald Trump would provide them leverage in accomplishing some of their top priorities, including crafting legislation to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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The debt ceiling had been frozen at about $19.84 trillion since mid-March, and the Treasury Department was forced to use "extraordinary measures" to prevent borrowing from exceeding that level, the Washington Examiner reported. And the debt limit fight would now be pushed into a hard midterm election year when Republicans might be even more averse.

Republicans at the time slammed the President's decision to overrule them and instead make a deal with the Democrats.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: 'The President appreciates Congress putting aside partisan politics and acting quickly to ensure that first responders, local officials and federal emergency management personnel have the resources they need to respond to the natural disasters impacting our nation'.

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