Mr McConnell’s offer was designed to deprive Democrats of the argument that they don’t have time to capitulate to his demand. The reconciliation process is to begin in the House with a budget resolution asking committees to draft a bill to lift the debt ceiling, and the House is not even in session this week. With at least some Republicans promising more delaying tactics, the process could take a while, but not until December.
Mr. McConnell may be concerned about the other two alternatives. The creation of an exception to the filibuster rules, which effectively requires 60 votes to advance most laws, has already been made – for candidates from the judiciary and the executive. But to do it unilaterally to raise the debt ceiling would be a lurch to ending the filibuster on all matters of policy and the establishment of a simple majority rule.
The move has long met with resistance from institutionalists and centrists from both parties, including two current Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, although some leading Democrats argue that this drama of the debt ceiling could change your mind.
“Nothing has changed,” Manchin told reporters on Wednesday.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Republican No.4, warned that if Democrats change the filibuster rule, “they will definitely change the Senate, permanently change the relationships that still matter in the Senate, and institute the idea that 50 of you plus a vice president from your party can still do whatever you want.
“I don’t think it’s healthy for the country,” Mr. Blunt said. “It would certainly not be healthy for the Senate. “
Praying for Republicans to back down after two failed attempts to break their obstruction is an even riskier game for Democrats, given the stakes. If, for the first time, the US government could not meet its obligations to international lenders, the safe haven investment of the global economy would be called into question. Interest rates would likely rise sharply and global financial institutions would start looking for new vehicles to store money, where it would not be subject to the vagaries of partisan politics.
“We don’t ask them to blink; we ask them to be the least bit reasonable, ”Senator Angus King, an independent centrist from Maine, said of Republican leaders. “The political gain from this seems small to me. The loss to the country seems extraordinarily high to me. “