Is McConnell Turning on His Own Party?

Senate Republicans are beginning to wonder whose side Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, is on. Frustrations are growing during the battle to raise the debt ceiling, yet again, this year to avoid a government shutdown. Republicans have said before that they will not raise the limit again, but McConnell just paved an easy path for Democrats.

McConnell has made an agreement to allow for a simple-majority vote on this, rather than the typical 60-vote threshold. The 60 votes would require some Republicans to vote in favor of raising the ceiling. However, since Democrats and Independents have the simple majority including the Vice President vote, this could be passed without the help of a single Republican. 

How is McConnell justifying this apparent turn on his party? He referenced Medicare expansion and said, “We want to make sure we do the right thing there too. So, it’s kind of got us between a rock and a hard place.” He also added that by allowing for this majority vote, he is putting it in the Democrats’ hands, and now they can be the ones to own it. 

Some Republican Senators have responded with their disapproval of this move. Republicans are wondering if this is a one-time deal, or if McConnell will continue to give in on Democrat demands over the next year. Democrats will be trying to cram in all the legislation they can before mid-term elections in 2022. 

It may seem like a minor issue, and McConnell perhaps saved a lot of time by allowing this but it certainly seems like a betrayal to his party. 

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