Democrats, afraid Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to raise the debt ceiling will hurt their party’s image, are expressing distaste for the proposal.
The Hill reports Democrats don’t like that McConnell’s plan, which gives President Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling in three steps over 17 months, would make the president and his party appear to support unpopular fiscal policy. (August 2nd no hard deadline on debt limit)
“McConnell is a very clever guy,” Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio said of the Republican senator. “He set up an intricate, multi-tiered trap to deliver on his promise to get Obama out of office and devastate the Democrats.”
DeFazio called the plan “a trap” and added that the process of raising the debt limit in three separate steps was “B.S.”
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) had a similar thought, saying the proposed deal is “not about what’s in the best interest of the country.” Moran insisted McConnell’s real goal is “weakening the Democratic Party for the next decade.”
“If we cast this vote, then the die is cast for the next decade,” he said.
Republicans and conservatives aren’t thrilled with McConnell’s proposal either. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina said the plan would simply make it easier for the government to spend and borrow. The advocacy group FreedomWorks said McConnell needs to “find his spine.”
But Speaker of the House John Boehner insisted Republicans were behind McConnell’s plan, telling Fox News this week: “Frankly, I think Mitch has done good work.”
Democrats are pushing for a “clean” debt ceiling bill, meaning an opportunity to cast one vote on a bill that raises the debt ceiling and does nothing else. The Republican-controlled House already killed one clean debt-ceiling bill this summer.
Republicans have repeatedly refused to support any bill that fails to reduce spending. Some GOP leaders have also demanded a bill that includes a balanced budget amendment.
Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) echoed the sentiments of his House colleagues, acknowledging that the deal would be bad politically for Democrats.
But, he said, if the proposal “were the only way to avoid defaulting on obligations, then I would very reluctantly vote for it.”