Schumer, McConnell warn senators against debt ceiling delay tactics
The debt ceiling bill appears to be on track for Senate approval.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.: “I think it will pass the Senate. I’d be surprised if it didn’t.”
The question is when.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.,: “One senator can stop the train, 99 senators have to wait. I just hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will be mindful of the fact that we need to do this for the good of our economy and the good of our country.”
The Senate is a chamber of rules and procedures. And as Senator Durbin alluded to, any one member can use that to their advantage if they don’t like a bill that’s being considered. The most well known delay tactic is the filibuster. But that can be overcome with 60 votes and it has not been discussed for this bill.
In this case, a delay would come in the form of amendment votes. But members have officially been warned against that.
Sen. Chuck Schumer D- N.Y.: “So any needless delay, any last minute brinkmanship at this point would be an unacceptable risk.”
But Senator Rand Paul may still move to get a vote on his proposal to increase the debt limit by only $500 billion, not an unlimited increase lasting two-years, which is the current proposal. It would also set new caps on spending through 2028.
Senator Tim Kaine wants the Mountain Valley Pipeline project approval, which Sen. Joe Manchin pushed for, removed.
There are bipartisan concerns about the defense budget. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed said he needs to get around the $860 billion dollar spending cap, likely by passing a supplemental bill. Sen. Lindsey Graham said it’s $50 billion dollars short of where it needs to be just to keep up with inflation.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R- S.C.: “We’re funding defense below inflation, under this proposal is going to be impossible for the Navy to grow, it will actually shrink.”
Ray: “Would you try to delay it?”
Sen. Lindsey Graham: “We’ll see.”
The Senate’s approval needs to be as smooth as possible, otherwise they run the risk of hitting or going over the June 5th X date for a default. And the Senate can’t make any changes to the bill, otherwise it goes back to the House for another vote. So while there are Senators talking about amendments and delays, others are speaking out against that.
Sen. Josh Hawley: “I’ve never been a big one for delaying just for the sake of delay. So we’ll see if we have a real amendment process over here. I kind of doubt we will.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal: “Make your points, give the speeches, let’s just get it done. Let’s vote. You can vote against it.”
The Senate can proceed very quickly when it has unanimous consent, so if all the Senators agree to keep things moving, they could be done by the weekend. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.