Mitch McConnell Threatens To Torpedo The Economy To Tank Biden. DC Press Corps Yawns.
In today's episode of "Republicans Are Terrorists," Mitch McConnell threatens to tank the US economy if he doesn't get what he wants. Again. Yes, that's right, we've reached the time of year when Congress has to vote to raise the debt ceiling, and the GOP is preparing to point a gun at the head of American taxpayers and threaten to shoot if Democrats don't let them starve some poor people.
During the past four years, Republicans cheerfully voted to lift the cap on US borrowing to cover money already spent, heedless of the effect on the national debt, which went up almost $8 trillion on Trump's watch. But approximately fifteen minutes after a Democratic president was sworn in, the Gippers remembered that they care deeply about that stuff and threatened to blow up the country's credit rating if they don't get what they want.
"I can't imagine there will be a single Republican voting to raise the debt ceiling after what we've been experiencing," Mitch McConnell complained to Punchbowl's John Bresnahan yesterday.
"I can't imagine a single Republican in this environment that we're in now — this free-for-all for taxes and spending — to vote to raise the debt limit," he added. "I think the answer is they need to put it in the reconciliation bill."
Keep in mind that we are talking about money needed to cover last year's spending, all of which was allocated when McConnell held the gavel and Trump wielded the veto pen. It's psychotic to threaten to default on the national debt, not to mention being the height of chutzpah when you're talking about ponying up for bills you yourself accrued.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer exploded in rage on the Senate floor this morning, calling out McConnell's "shameless, cynical and totally political" maneuvering.
"This debt is Trump debt. It's COVID debt," he continued, pointing out that his team didn't take the entire economy hostage when it was in the minority. "Democrats joined three times during the Trump administration to do the responsible thing and the bottom line is that Leader McConnell should not be playing political games with the full faith and credit of the United States. Americans pay their debts."
The reality is that Democrats don't do it, because we're not fucking terrorists. Republicans pull this stunt all the time, threatening to default on America's debt obligations as a political ploy, heedless of the consequences. And there are real consequences, as McConnell knows well from 2011, when his crew managed to get the US bond rating downgraded, making it more expensive for Uncle Sam to borrow money. Great job, fellas!
But Dems are in no mood for this shit.
"This is a page from the Obama-era economic sabotage playbook, and I'm not going to let Republicans play games with the economy for their political benefit," Senator Ron Wyden huffed in April, when McConnell and his mob started making noise about the debt ceiling. And Wyden was no more interested in playing ball today, telling CNN, "I want it understood as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I am not going to let anybody take our economy hostage."
And we are in no mood for this shit from Punchbowl.
This is a loud warning shot across the bow to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the entire Democratic establishment. A two-year suspension of the debt ceiling enacted by Congress in 2019 will expire at the end of July, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the federal government could hit its borrowing limit quickly. Yellen has implored Congress to act, calling a possible default "unthinkable."
McConnell, however, believes this is a problem for Democrats to handle. He thinks Democrats should include a debt ceiling increase or suspension in whatever reconciliation package they put together and pass it themselves on a party line vote.
This isn't a completely unusual position for Republicans in the minority. But the problem here for Democrats is that they won't be able to put together a reconciliation bill for weeks or even several months, and the federal government will likely reach its borrowing limit much sooner.
With the greatest respect for the Punchbowl crew, who are absolutely killing it with their new venture, this isn't a "warning shot across the bow" to Democrats. This is blatant hostage-taking, and Republicans are the only ones who do it.
Describing this as anything less than a threat to shoot the American economy fails to appropriately describe reality. And, yes, we get it — spending all their time hanging out in Congress so as to provide us with the granular coverage we rely on causes reporters to become habituated to some extremely dysfunctional shit. But still, it's a disservice to readers to pretend it's business as usual when one side threatens to tank the economy, safe in the knowledge that the other side cares more about protecting Americans than making the president look bad when he has an R next to his name.
In summary and in conclusion, Mitch McConnell is a terrorist, the GOP are nihilists who'd happily tank the economy to hurt President Biden, and under no circumstances should we treat this as a normal part of the political process.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.