Speed Reads

looming showdown

Senate Democrats are setting up a showdown with Republicans over the debt limit

Senate Democrats on Monday released the framework for their $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which they'll aim to pass without Republican support via reconciliation. The framework addresses numerous issues, including, but not limited to, climate change, jobs programs, and universal child care. However, it does not include instructions to raise or extend the debt ceiling.

This was mostly expected thanks to recent reporting and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's call for Congress to take of the debt limit, which had been suspended for the last two years, through bipartisan legislation. By omitting it from the budget resolution, Democrats appear prepared for a fiscal showdown with Republicans, who wanted their colleagues to include the debt limit in the reconciliation bill so they wouldn't have to deal with it. Theoretically, the move puts the GOP in a tough spot because they're not keen on voting to raise or extend the limit, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also likely doesn't want his party heading into the 2022 midterms having sent a message that they want to cut Social Security and Medicare, former Obama administration aide Dan Pfeiffer writes.

But Pfeiffer doesn't believe the showdown is only a risk for Republicans. In fact, he argues Democrats made a mistake by not including a significant debt ceiling raise in reconciliation. "It is essentially solving a small problem by creating a much bigger one," he writes, explaining that it could set up a fight not only with McConnell, but also with House Republicans, who may cause Democrats even more trouble.