President Biden is hosting a debt ceiling meeting today at 4:00pm with both Senate leaders Schumer and McConnell, and House leaders McCarthy and Jeffries.
Last month the House passed a bill that would increase the debt limit by $1.5 trillion, but would also include cuts to reduce the deficit.
Biden and Democrats have clearly stood against a debt ceiling deal in tandem with spending cuts, in which a fight would hold the economy as hostage.
But now Senate Republicans have decided to join the fight.
Minority leader McConnell has been unexpectedly reassuring in the conversation, defending the necessity to raise the debt ceiling — until a few days ago.
Reports say that McConnell has worked behind the scenes to support Sen Mike Lee’s bid to support the House plan.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has signed onto a letter stating he and more than 40 members of the Senate GOP conference will not back “any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms,” according to sources.
*Of note, Mike Lee also says that his party’s threats have merit because “our economy is in free fall.” Those remarks came a day after the nation’s unemployment rate matched a 54-year low.
The possible recourse?
Biden has an escape route through the 14th Amendment, that says the public debt “shall not be questioned.”
There is nervousness about Biden invoking the 14th as a bypass around Congress.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said it would trigger a constitutional crisis.
“There is no way to protect our financial system and our economy other than Congress doing its job and raising the debt ceiling and enabling us to pay our bills,” Yellen said on ABC. “And we should not get to the point where we need to consider whether the president can go on issuing debt. This would be a constitutional crisis.”The Hill
Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe joined Lawrence O’Donnell to explain a change of heart he has had on the 14th Amendment, and why he now says it’s Presiden Biden’s duty to pay the nation’s debts.
See below how he frames his argument.