Senate Republicans Are Shoulder-To-Shoulder With Speaker McCarthy On Debt Limit Negotiations

As Democrats Are Fracturing Over Their Leadership’s Complete Failure To Act On The Debt Ceiling, Senate Republicans Stand Squarely With Speaker McCarthy


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Our Republican colleagues in the House passed a responsible bill. It’s the only legislation currently in existence that can pass even one chamber of Congress, let alone both. … Senate Democrats and Leader Schumer can give all the angry speeches they want. But they have no bill. Leader Schumer has no plan that can earn 60 votes in the Senate. He has no solution that can even pass his own chamber, let alone the House. Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans are the only people in Washington who have actually passed legislation to avoid default. ... The only solution is presidential leadership. President Biden has been sleepwalking towards crisis. He needs to wake up. The President has two options. He can endorse the responsible bill that House Republicans have already passed and instruct Senate Democrats not to block it in this chamber. Or he can finally sit down with Speaker McCarthy and negotiate directly. The Speaker of the House has been sitting at the grown-ups’ table for months, waiting for President Biden to act like a leader. Whatever President Biden and Speaker McCarthy can both agree to will pass the Senate easily. Any bill that doesn’t meet that description appears to have no chance. So I’m glad President Biden has begun backing down and finally invited the Speaker to begin negotiating. I accept his invitation to join the meeting myself and I’ll continue to lend my support to the Speaker.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 5/03/2023)


‘GOP Senators Are In Lockstep Behind Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Hands-Off Approach To The Debt-Limit Crisis,’ ‘There’s Zero Appetite Among Senate Republicans To Do Anything That Would Undermine McCarthy’s Negotiating Position’

“Senate Republicans haven’t been this united in a long time. From the dealmakers and moderates to hardline conservatives, GOP senators are in lockstep behind Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hands-off approach to the debt-limit crisis. President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy must take the lead in resolving this crisis, McConnell insists, and the Senate should play a rare supporting role.” (“Senate GOP All In With McCarthy, McConnell,” Punchbowl News AM, 5/03/2023)

Senate Republicans: ‘We’ll Be There To Support The Speaker,’ ‘Senate Republicans Should Be Supporting What The House Did,’ ‘Biden And Senate Democrats Need To Get With The Program’

SENATE REPUBLICAN WHIP JOHN THUNE (R-SD): “There is no deal that gets done that can't pass the House of Representatives and be signed into law by the president. This is a conversation that needs to happen. It's been 90 days since President Biden has made any effort to reach out to Speaker McCarthy…. Speaker McCarthy has been available, continues to be available, and now has a product or a result to act on. And the president's position, the Democrats’ position of not negotiating is not sustainable.” (Sen. Thune, Press Conference, 5/02/2023)

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): “Whatever Kevin McCarthy comes to with the president, that’s great. We’ll be there to support the Speaker… [McCarthy] can take a real strong lead here. We don’t want serious fractures happening in the House.” (“Senate GOP All In With McCarthy, McConnell,” Punchbowl News AM, 5/03/2023)

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV): “You know, it's about time that the president did come to the table to begin negotiations with Speaker McCarthy. I want to congratulate him and the House for their efforts.” (Sen. Capito, Press Conference, 5/02/2023)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): “They didn't think Speaker McCarthy and the Republicans could pass a debt ceiling bill, but they did. They passed a debt ceiling bill that had responsible reforms tied to it, dealing with the root cause of the problem which is spending…. Biden and Senate Democrats need to get with the program and acknowledge something that Montanans already know, the spending is the problem.” (Sen. Daines, Press Conference, 5/02/2023)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): “I think McConnell’s analysis is right.” (“Senate GOP All In With McCarthy, McConnell,” Punchbowl News AM, 5/03/2023)

SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): “[The House] got something done. Let’s let them sell it to the president and then let them work out a deal…. I’m like Leader McConnell — let’s just stay out of it and let them do it.” (“Senate GOP All In With McCarthy, McConnell,” Punchbowl News AM, 5/03/2023)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): “I agree with what [McConnell’s] saying right now.” (“Senate GOP All In With McCarthy, McConnell,” Punchbowl News AM, 5/03/2023)

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): “Right now, I think Senate Republicans should be supporting what the House did.” (“Ron Johnson Calls For GOP Senate Support On Mccarthy Debt Limit Bill With Default Looming,” Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 5/03/2023)


Meanwhile, Senators Joe Manchin And Kyrsten Sinema Are ‘Breaking With Democrats On The Debt Limit’ And Are Publicly Urging President Biden To Negotiate With Speaker McCarthy

“Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema saved the filibuster and cut down President Joe Biden’s agenda, delighting Republicans. Now they’re breaking with Democrats on the debt limit, and Republicans hope they keep it coming. The two centrists, who spent Biden’s first two years in office at odds with the left, are glaring outliers on the debt drama in the party’s 51-member Senate caucus. While their Democratic colleagues insist on no negotiations until the debt ceiling is lifted, Manchin and Sinema are not only pushing for a bipartisan deal but positioning themselves as potential players in any future Senate talks on a way out of the crisis.” (“GOP’s Best Pals In Debt Talks: Manchin And Sinema,” Politico, 5/03/2023)

  • “In an interview on Tuesday, Manchin said of Schumer’s dismissal that ‘to say something’s dead on arrival, before we really had a chance to look at it — I think there’s a better way to approach it.’ … He described himself as ‘fine’ with the possibility that Biden and McCarthy would negotiate a debt agreement, the same position that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has taken. Manchin also pointed to the debt ceiling negotiations between Democrats and the Trump administration as precedent for this time around — even as his colleagues say there’s nothing to negotiate. ‘I don’t know why this is any different,’ he said.” (“GOP’s Best Pals In Debt Talks: Manchin And Sinema,” Politico, 5/03/2023)
  • “Sinema warned in a statement for this story that ‘playing chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States is irresponsible’ given the impacts a debt default could have on her constituents. ‘Both sides need to come together, put down the partisan talking points, and discuss realistic solutions to prevent default,’ she said.” (“GOP’s Best Pals In Debt Talks: Manchin And Sinema,” Politico, 5/03/2023)


And A Number Of House Democrats Have Already Said Both Parties Should ‘Sit Down And Talk About The Debt Ceiling,’ And ‘Get It Done For The Sake Of The Country’

“President Joe Biden immediately rejected Kevin McCarthy‘s opening debt-limit proposal, but it prompted movement elsewhere: A growing number of House Democrats want party leaders to restart negotiations…. [A] growing contingent of Democrats are acknowledging that Biden’s blanket refusal to engage with McCarthy may need to change …” (“House Dems Call On Biden To Meet With McCarthy On Debt Limit,” Politico, 4/20/2023)


REMINDER: The Only Chamber That Has Passed A Debt Limit Bill Is The House, As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Sits On His Hands

“Right now there’s only one bill to lift the debt limit that’s already passed one chamber — the proposal put forward by House GOP leaders.” (The Early 202, The Washington Post, 5/03/2023)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “House Republicans last week passed a bill that would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion into 2024 with some modest spending restraint, and in the American system it takes two legislative bodies to tango on legislation. But where’s Chuck [Schumer]? He has denounced the House bill as ‘dangerous,’ with his usual nuance, but if he wants to avoid a default on U.S. debt he will have to pass a bill through the Senate. So far he’s done nothing but kvetch.” (Editorial, “Chuck Schumer’s Debt Default,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/02/2023)



Related Issues: House Democrats, Debt And Deficits, Senate Democrats