McConnell Says Democrats' Glee on Debt Limit Deal Was Premature

National debt hits $20 TRILLION for the first time - and just days after Trump signed bill to raise the ceiling

National debt hits $20 TRILLION for the first time - and just days after Trump signed bill to raise the ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said Congress will not vote on raising the debt ceiling in December after all, depriving Democrats of added leverage in negotiating a federal spending bill and other priorities of theirs.

As a result, Thune said, that postponement of the debt ceiling debate "does increase the likelihood that we will get a spending bill that's going to be more to our liking". "And getting Congress to give up a tool like that would probably be quite a challenging undertaking", McConnell told reporters. "It doesn't mean we won't have to address the debt ceiling at some point, but it will not be in December".

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader.

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Democrats, assessing the situation, said they were not sure it would inhibit them that significantly and were skeptical that Mr. McConnell would follow through since it would put Republicans on the spot for two hard votes. "I wrote it in such a way that it does not prevent what is frequently done, which is the use of extraordinary measures".

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a federal agency that provides budget and economic information to Congress, said federal debt held by the public is now at its highest level since shortly after World War II.

McConnell, however, told the Times that the debt limit will not have to be increased until well into 2018 as the newly passed legislation allows the Treasury to apply "extraordinary measures" to move money around and pay off the government's skyrocketing debt.

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Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed last week to pursue an agreement to permanently do away with the requirement that Congress periodically raise the debt ceiling.

Democrats had hoped that in December they would again be able to force Republicans to tie the debt ceiling extension to an interim government funding bill. And the debt limit fight would now be pushed into a hard midterm election year when Republicans might be even more averse.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: 'The President appreciates Congress putting aside partisan politics and acting quickly to ensure that first responders, local officials and federal emergency management personnel have the resources they need to respond to the natural disasters impacting our nation'.

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