Debt Ceiling Fight Tests Republicans’ Resolve

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) speaks as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of Congress take part in a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the steps of the US …
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

A legislative fight to raise the debt ceiling could test Republicans’ resolve as Congress heads towards a packed legislative schedule ahead of the new year.

The nation’s debt limit will either have to be suspended or raised on December 15. Democrat leaders have discussed adding a debt ceiling provision to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

That legislative option appears to have bipartisan support as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) signaled to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that he could support slipping a debt ceiling provision into the NDAA.


Mitch McConnell (right) and Chuck Schumer, pictured in February 2018. (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File CHIP SOMODEVILLA)

However, it appears this maneuver may not pass through the House as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had the idea of raising the debt ceiling twice last week. McCarthy has said he does not believe Democrats could garner the votes to raise the debt ceiling.

The Associated Press

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., responds to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The NDAA faces an uncertain fate in the House, where as many as 38 House Democrats voted against the defense authorization bill in September, objecting to the bill’s high-spending level. Democrat leaders hope to gain many of the 75 House Republicans who helped the NDAA pass earlier this year if they add the debt ceiling amendment.

Democrats believe McConnell could persuade Republicans to get enough Republicans to vote for the debt ceiling and NDAA package.

“That seems naïve: McCarthy wants to be speaker and will almost certainly come under pressure from the far-right to take a position and enforce it,” Politico wrote Monday.

McCarthy has helped keep the Republican Conference united ahead of major legislative battles.

Only one Republican, the Never Trump Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), voted for the continuing resolution to keep the government open as conservatives launched a battle to defund President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.

No Republicans voted for the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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