Sen. McConnell Seeking 10 GOP Votes to Bypass Debt Ceiling Filibuster Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 08 December 2021 08:09 PM
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is hoping to find 10 votes from his Republican colleagues this week to avoid a filibuster on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
According to The Hill, the Senate will vote Thursday on a bill that would prevent any cuts to Medicare and allow a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling to proceed without a filibuster.
According to VOX, a deal was reached this week between McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to take a vote on Thursday that will not allow any cuts to Medicare, and in return, GOP Senators would deliver enough votes to bypass a filibuster one time so that Democrats could pass a debt ceiling increase bill on their own with a simple majority vote.
The deal allows Republicans to vote down the spending limit bill without making the country default on its obligations as Democrats would have enough votes to pass it 51-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the 50-50 tie.
The only other option for the Democrats could have used to pass the increase would be to use the same budget reconciliation procedure that the current $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” plan is using, which could take several weeks or months while the Dec. 15 deadline for increasing the debt ceiling looms just a week from now.
Last month, 11 GOP Senators signed on to a stop-gap budget bill that kept the country funded through early next year, and McConnell is hoping for a similar outcome with the debt ceiling filibuster bypass.
As of Wednesday, however, he did not say if he had the 10 votes locked down to successfully execute the deal.
On Tuesday, Schumer said that he was hopeful things would move forward.
“We want a simple majority without a convoluted, risky, lengthy process and it looks like Republicans will help facilitate that,” Schumer said in a press conference Tuesday VOX reported.
Republicans want Democrats to push the debt ceiling through unilaterally so that they have to put a specific number on the increase, according to the report.
On Nov. 16, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., warning Congress about passing the increase by the Dec. 15 deadline, and the consequences of missing the deadline.
“While I have a high degree of confidence that Treasury will be able to finance the U.S. government through Dec. 15 and complete the Highway Trust Fund investment, there are scenarios in which Treasury would be left with insufficient remaining resources to continue to finance the operations of the U.S. government beyond this date,” her letter said. “To ensure the full faith and credit of the United States, it is critical that Congress raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible.”
The House already passed its version of the increase.