Democrats will likely agree to increase in short-term debt ceiling, senator says


Left to right, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering making a proposal to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this afternoon to raise the debt ceiling, according to GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Murkowski told reporters that after this afternoon’s vote to advance a debt-limit-suspending bill, which Republicans are expected to block, McConnell will come up with a proposal he is prepared to discuss with Schumer on the debt limit settlement.

When asked what she expected after today’s vote, Murkowski said, “I think you’re going to hear from Chief McConnell. He’s going to outline the proposal that he’s ready, I think, to discuss with Senator Schumer … and I think that will give us a way out of the woods, which is what we want.

She declined to provide further details on the content of McConnell’s proposal.

This is expected to be a short-term suspension of the debt ceiling. A separate GOP source said it is expected to last until December.

GOP senators are meeting right now.

Why this is important: Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are at a stalemate over raising the debt ceiling. Even though Congress has in the past raised the debt ceiling with a bipartisan vote, McConnell has repeatedly vowed that Republicans would not vote to raise it.

Democrats are able to raise the debt ceiling on their own without Republican votes, but they should use the long reconciliation process to do so. Democratic House and Senate leaders said they were unwilling to use this process and instead sought Republicans to cooperate to pay the country’s bills.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last month the country would run out of cash to pay its bills on Oct. 18, leaving the United States facing a payment default for the first time in its history. which would be economically devastating.

CNN’s Arlette Saenz, Betsy Klein and Kate Sullivan contributed to the reporting of this post.

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