Call it the showdown at the D.C. corral. Top Democrats on Monday declared a new plan to attach an initiative to increase the government’s borrowing authority to a bill that will continue funding the government through December. If lawmakers don’t pass that spending bill in less than two weeks, the government will more than likely go into partial shutdown—and be unable to pay its bills afterward.
The move essentially dares the Republicans, who have so far staunchly refused to vote to raise the debt limit, to say “no” one more time. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the majority of the GOP have argued that it is Democrats’ responsibility to finance the federal spending they’ve promised to deliver. McConnell affirmed that his party will maintain its opposition to President Biden’s sweeping economic agenda.
It’s possible the Democrats may need to pass a debt limit increase on their own, but only if “necessary,” according to House Majority Whip James Clyburn. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated on Sunday night that she preferred that both parties address the limit together. “This is a bipartisan responsibility, just as it was under my predecessor,” Biden tweeted out on Monday. He said he applauded the plan. “Blocking it would be inexcusable.”