Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerStandoff Repeals a Quick Senate Defense Act Agreement Before Thanksgiving Defund Biden: The Only Way to Put America on a Budget Schumer: ‘Inadequate’ Emission Reductions Without Meeting the White House Environmental Justice Standard MORE (DN.Y.) and GOP leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Overnight Defense & National Security – Presented by Boeing – Senate rates on defense law On The Money – House Democrats adopt Biden’s big law The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – House to vote on Biden’s law on social spending after McCarthys delay MORE (Ky.) Turn down the drama as they try to find an escape hatch from another high-stakes fight over the debt ceiling.
Congress has until about December 15 to raise the country’s borrowing limit, according to the finance minister Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenHouse adopts gigantic social policy and climate action. Two more Democrats urge Biden not to elect Powell to the Fed chair McConnell is looking for a way out of the debt ceiling MORE, who has warned that the date in mid-December is when the government will no longer be able to pay its bills in full.
On the surface, the deadline sets the stage for round two of a blue-collar battle between Senate leaders who spent weeks in open warfare in the run-up to the October vote on the debt ceiling, where they each went far on the limbs while swapping one-off crews.
But instead, McConnell and Schumer, as their colleagues rarely say, publicly withdraw their blow for now in what senators see as more of a marriage of necessity – with the global economy hanging – than a love match between the two opponents.
“I do not know that it is necessarily a thaw, I just think there is a realization that this needs to be done,” Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell, Schumer chases after debt ceiling off-ramp The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Gosar censored as GOP drama increases US may default before Christmas if debt ceiling is not raised: analysis MORE (RS.D.), the Republican from Senate No. 2, said.
Asked if he caught bipartisan vibes between the two, Sen said. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerSunday shows preview: Boosters open to all American adults; Representatives’ members forward the spending plan to Senate Standoff scraps quick agreement on Senate defense law before Thanksgiving Schumer, McConnell talks about debt ceiling MORE (RN.D.) said back, “No.”
“I just feel like pragmatic people are finally finding each other,” Cramer added.
McConnell and Schumer have served in the Senate together for more than 20 years, but their relationship is notoriously icy cold, but not as blatantly hostile as the relationship between the GOP leader and former Senate Democratic leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMellman: Are Independents Really That Independent? CBC’s central role in infrastructure underscores the caucus’ growing stature Bottomline MORE (Nev.).
The two have deal-making, pragmatic lines in their political genes, a common feature that aroused hope before Schumer took over the Senate Democrats’ top position in 2017, that they could figure out a way to work well together.
And there have been moments of frivolity, including jokes about bourbon together, when Schumer spoke at the University of Louisville in 2018 after the two made a budget deal, and trade jokes earlier this year when Schumer struck to beat McConnell for a weekly press conference.
But they are also personality antagonisms, with Schumer constantly feeling his caucus in person or via his infamous flip phone, while McConnell’s thinking is sometimes difficult to decipher even for his closest allies in the GOP. And there have been fierce fights between them, including three Supreme Court confirmation battles that hit the Senate.
Schumer’s ardent speech after 11 Republicans helped advance the short-term debt increase in October, while ultimately voting against the bill, initially seemed to have ruled out any chance of a deal on the upcoming debt battle.
McConnell claimed in a letter sent to Biden the day after the speech that Schumer “poisoned the well” with his remarks, which the GOP leader compared to a “tantrum.”
“I am writing to inform you that I will not provide such assistance again if your completely democratic government goes into another avoidable crisis,” McConnell wrote at the time.
But temperatures seemed to have cooled between the two since then, and both were careful not to draw hard lines during recent back-to-back press conferences.
“We can not let the full faith and honor of the United States disappear, and we focus on getting this done in a two-way way,” Schumer told reporters.
Asked if Democrats want the debt ceiling to be twofold, McConnell avoided it and predicted instead that “we will figure out how to avoid default. We always do.”
The two had a rare personal meeting – a day after two sources told The Hill that they were speaking – with McConnell, who later said they had a “good conversation.”
“We agreed to keep talking, working together to try to get somewhere,” McConnell added.
Trying to find a way forward on the debt ceiling has benefits for both: Schumer faces a packed schedule by the end of the year that would be complicated by a protracted debt battle, with government funding, a massive defense policy law and President BidenJoe BidenRisch appalled by other GOP senators’ blockade of Biden’s diplomatic election Preview of Sunday shows: Boosters open to all US adults; Representatives’ members forward the spending plan to Senate White House calls to investigate missing Chinese tennis star’s allegations of sexual assault MORE‘s climate and social spending plan also on the to-do list.
McConnell, meanwhile, faced violent setbacks from conservatives in his own caucus for his strategy during the battle for the debt ceiling earlier this year. And Republicans are aware of the pressure that Sens. Kyrsten CinemaKyrsten SinemaDemocrats plow on, while Manchin-yo-yos Biden’s election to Arizona’s U.S. attorney confirmed by Senate Three female senators call NYT coverage of Sinema’s clothes “sexist” MORE (D-Ariz.) And Joe ManchinJoe Manchin Democrats plow forward while Manchin yo-yos Five takeaways: House adopts Biden’s comprehensive bill on benefits Overnight Energy & Environment – House adopts gigantic climate, social policy law MORE (DW.Va) is below to modify the filibuster.
Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump asks former assistant Navarro to ‘protect executive privileges’ in the House’s COVID-19 probe panel Jan. 6 may see influence from Bannon prosecutor Election period.‘s constant barrage of fire against McConnell also complicates the calculation in the caucus of the Senate GOP, where even Republicans who privately disagree with the former president hate to cross him publicly. And Trump’s constant drumming against McConnell this week on the debt ceiling was quickly intercepted by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPennsylvania’s GOP-Controlled Senate Will Spend Up to $ 0.000 on Election Campaign Against US Consulate in Jerusalem Boosted by Network of Fake Accounts: Reports, Senators Look at Defense Law to Move Cyber-Security Measures MORE (RS.C.), one of Trump’s closest allies in the Senate, tweeted Friday: “I agree with President Trump that it is imperative that Republicans in the Senate do not help and help raise the debt ceiling.”
While GOP senators have hovered that there are options on the table for how the debt ceiling is being raised, they do not believe 10 members of their caucus will vote a second time to help promote a debt ceiling bill.
Instead, the main offer from the Republicans is to help speed up the Democrats by raising the debt ceiling on their own through reconciliation, a budget process that lets them avoid the 60-vote legislative filibuster. Late. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women appear to be building on progress in upcoming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse reprimanded by Nebraska Republican Party over federal referendum MORE (R-Pa.) Has examined a proposal, supported by others in the caucus, to speed up the committee and floor process if Democrats agree to raise the debt ceiling through the budget process. Typically, reconciliation requires hours of debate and an unmanageable vote-a-rama where any senator who wants to get a vote can force one.
“I would be forever compressing it, but I want to make sure that part of the deal is not that you want Republicans behind it … but in terms of getting it to a faster solution, I think most Republicans would probably be okay with that, ”Sen said. Mike BraunMichael BraunCruz, Braun criticizes Library of Congress for relinquishing term “illegal aliens” to suit “progressive preferences” Overnight Health Care – Presented by Emergent Biosolutions – Pfizer, US strike COVID-19 pill deal Peanut Butter and Jelly debut front the White House turkey apologized MORE (Crust.).
But some Democrats are adamant about using the budget process, believing Republicans will blink like they did in October.
Others, including the Democratic whip of the Senate Dick DurbinDick Durbin Overnight Defense & National Security – Presented by Boeing – Senate rates on defense legislation Historical immigration reform included in House-passed spending law. Standoff discards quick agreement on Senate defense law before Thanksgiving MORE (D-Ill.), Believes they should change the filibuster rule to exempt the debt ceiling. While the fight in October built pressure on the Democrats to make a narrow change to the filibuster, Manchin said as recently as this week that he does not support the move.
But some Democrats, including Manchin, support the use of the budget process. Others do not close the door completely while waiting to see what offer emerges from the Schumer-McConnell negotiations.
“Here’s the thing – I have not seen the details. I do not know what they mean by that,” said Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van Hollen Democrats struggle to figure out shutdown strategy Democrats believe GOP will blink in latest debt battle Overnight Defense & National Security – Presented by Boeing – Senators will take up defense proposal Wednesday MORE (D-Md.). “Until then, my point of view remains … either get on board and do the right thing with us or get out of the way.”