And they're off.
In what looks to be the first move in a major congressional showdown, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has reiterated the GOP's stance on helping (or rather, not helping) the left raise the debt ceiling.
"Our colleagues seem confident that Chairman Sanders' vision is worth sticking our kids and grandkids with a massive bill," said McConnell. "They deserve to have total ownership of that decision."
On Monday, Senate Democrats unveiled the framework for their $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which is to be passed without Republican support. Its provisions address climate change, child care, and jobs programs, but notably, neglect to mention lifting or suspending the debt ceiling. McConnell had cautioned Democrats before that Republicans would not aid in raising the debt limit, and urged his colleagues to handle the issue in their "partisan" reconciliation bill. Also on Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen once again implored Congress to, on a bipartisan basis, address the debt limit immediately or risk "irreparable harm to the U.S. economy and the livelihoods of all Americans."
"That's not how it's going to work, added McConnell on Monday, referencing a bipartisan process. "Democrats have all the existing tools they need to raise the debt limit on a partisan basis. ... They can find 50 Democratic votes to finance it. If they don't want Republicans' input, they don't need our help. It couldn't really be simpler, and it really couldn't be more fair."