Every time the Democrats have been on the ropes during the Biden administration, it seems Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has shown up to help just in the nick of time. This week, he provided another free bailout to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
On Tuesday, a bill brought before the Senate provides for yet another increase in the federal debt ceiling while also putting off Medicare reductions created by Democratic mismanagement.
The new bill creates a so-called “one time only” increase in the debt limit. The increase would have to occur by January 15 and be made in an actual dollar amount. That would prevent a vote to suspend the limit temporarily simply. The bill’s mechanism would allow Democrats to increase the debt limit in the next few days without the threat of a Republican filibuster, meaning 50 Democrat votes would be all needed to complete the increase.
As a result, McConnell essentially gave away leverage when the filibuster was on the table, especially since some Democrats have firmly stated they will not vote to rescind the legislative filibuster rule over the debt limit.
On top of that, the bill also puts off spending reductions already scheduled for the first two months of next year. The bill changes the timing of cuts in Medicare spending, which lets Democrats off the hook for facing the results of the massive COVID relief bill enacted earlier this year.
If the GOP were serious about challenging Democratic spending madness, allowing reductions in Medicare payments to take place because of their earlier spending spree would have been a superb way to start.
The McConnell strategy appears to claim that Republicans did not vote to raise the debt limit or cut Medicare. If that is the best McConnell can come up with when Democrats control the House, Senate, and White House, it does not bode well as a winning campaign strategy for Republicans in next year’s midterm elections.