Biden: Filibuster exception to boost debt ceiling ‘a real possibility’


President Biden recommended Tuesday that Senate Democrats may make a one-time exception to the chamber’s typical 60-vote rule to move laws elevating the debt ceiling.

“Oh, I think that’s a real possibility,” Biden instructed reporters on the White House as he returned from a visit to Michigan.

Republicans have insisted they won’t assist rising the federal authorities’s borrowing restrict — which Treasury officers say shall be reached on Oct. 18 — so long as Democrats try to maneuver ahead with a social spending invoice costing trillions of {dollars}.

Democrats, for his or her half, have warned of dire financial penalties if the restrict is just not raised and argued the GOP has a accountability to assist improve the restrict on a bipartisan foundation.

Last week, the Senate voted down a House-passed invoice to avert a authorities shutdown that included language to extend the debt restrict. A vote on a standalone measure to boost the ceiling is scheduled within the Senate for Wednesday afternoon, and is prone to fall wanting the wanted 60 votes.

If Senate Democrats go forward with the filibuster carveout — often known as the nuclear possibility — they might seemingly must vote to overturn the chamber rule requiring 60 votes to move a debt ceiling extension, adopted by a vote to move the extension itself. Both votes may require Vice President Kamala Harris to interrupt a 50-50 tie in favor of the Democrats.

The nuclear possibility is presently solely used for presidential appointments, together with Supreme Court justices. It has by no means earlier than used to override the 60-vote legislative filibuster, although some Democrats have pushed for it lately.

Vice President Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaker for the Democrats.
Vice President Kamala Harris could be the tie-breaker for the Democrats.
Susan Walsh, File/AP

However, it’s not clear whether or not Senate Democrats have the votes to make such a transfer. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have adamantly opposed weakening the legislative filibuster, although the prospects of a US authorities default could alter their outlook.

“We are not going to default, let me just make it very clear,” Manchin stated Tuesday. “There’s enough good people here to understand the ramifications and we’re not going to do that.”

“I’m not ruling things out,” Manchin added. “I just know there’s enough good people here that will not let this country fall to default … it is not going to happen.”

In a letter to Biden Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) instructed the president: “Bipartisanship is just not a lightweight change that [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority] Leader [Chuck] Schumer could flip on to borrow cash and flip off to spend it.

“Republicans’ position is simple,” McConnell went on. “We have no list of demands. For two and a half months, we have simply warned that since your party wishes to govern alone, it must handle the debt limit alone as well.”

For his half, the president instructed Republicans in remarks on Monday to “let us do our job.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated the Democrats should assault the debt ceiling alone.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

“Just get out of the way,” Biden stated. “If you don’t want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don’t destroy it.”

Biden additionally stated Tuesday that he would enact a social spending invoice that features the Hyde modification, which bars federal funding for practically all abortions by Medicaid, the navy, and different tax-supported packages — and which Manchin has insisted upon together with within the measure.

“I want to get the bill passed,” the president instructed reporters earlier than clarifying: “I’d sign it either way.”