Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a Tuesday press conference that Congress won’t hold a vote to raise the debt ceiling in December.
The news comes as a blow to Democrats hoping the short-term debt limit deal struck with President Donald Trump would provide them leverage in accomplishing some of their top priorities, including crafting legislation to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“We will not be revisiting the debt ceiling until next year,” McConnell told reporters.
While Democrats were successful in their push to attach a three-month increase to the federal borrowing limit to must-pass Hurricane Harvey relief aid, economists estimate that lawmakers could have until March before they have to take up the issue again, Politico reports.
“I crafted the amendment and offered it to the flood bill and it does not eliminate extraordinary measures, which the secretary of the Treasury has always had in connection to the debt ceiling, and therefore I can confidently predict there will not be a connection with the debt ceiling and spending decisions in December,” McConnell said. “It doesn’t mean we won’t have to address the debt ceiling at some point, but it will not be in December.”
The Kentucky Republican went on to downplay reports that Congress could soon do away with debt ceiling votes altogether. Reports recently emerged that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Trump are considering striking a deal to repeal the debt ceiling, a proposal which has been met with sharp pushback from conservatives.
“Getting Congress to give up a tool like that would probably be quite a challenging undertaking,” he said. “My assumption is that the debt ceiling will continue.”
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