Mitch McConnell Says Republicans Will Not Vote to Raise Debt Ceiling in December

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Republicans will not vote to raise the debt ceiling in December just hours after the House announced it would vote on the newly passed Senate bill that hopes to avoid a default until then.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, McConnell said that he would not be providing assistance again after 11 Republicans voted to end the filibuster and allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on Thursday. He continued that members of his party "filled the leadership vacuum that has troubled the Senate" since Biden took office.

"The Senate Democratic Leader had three months' notice to handle one of his most basic governing duties. Amazingly, even this proved to be asking too much. Senator Schumer spent 11 weeks claiming he lacked the time and the leadership skills to manage a straightforward process that would take less than two weeks," McConnell wrote.

"Whether through weakness or an intentional effort to bully his own members, Senator Schumer marched the nation to the doorstep of disaster," he continued. "Embarrassingly, it got to the point where Senators on both sides were pleading for leadership to fill the void and protect our citizens. I stepped up."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Republicans will not vote to raise the debt ceiling in December. Above, McConnell speaks to reporters following the Senate Republican policy luncheon on March 10, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Prior to Thursday's vote, McConnell issued a statement offering a short-term extension that would allow both parties to reach an agreement by waiving the filibuster, thus allowing Democrats to pass the bill along party lines.

McConnell said that "even as Republicans saved Americans from his crisis," Schumer kept "compounding his failures."

In a speech delivered from the Senate floor after the vote, Schumer was highly critical of Republicans and McConnell following the last-minute deal. McConnell described it as a rant "so partisan, angry and corrosive that even Democratic Senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him."

The minority leader said the childish behavior will only continue alienating members of the Republican party who helped facilitate the "short-term patch."

McConnell concluded that because of Schumer's "hysterics" and his concerns over the spending bill, he will not assist in any further efforts to "mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement."

"Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lacked to address the debt ceiling through standalone reconciliation, and all the tools to do it. They cannot invent another crisis and ask for my help," he wrote.

Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the nation cannot default on its debt but have differed in how to solve the problem.

The Republican Party wants the Democrats to address the debt-ceiling through budget reconciliation but the opposing party has said the process is too time-consuming. And while McConnell and other Republicans consider this to be a partisan issue, Democrats believe both parties should pay for the presidential administrations.

As a result of Thursday's vote, McConnell said Democrats now have the time they need to raise the debt limit themselves while members of the party remain averse to the process—paving the way for another political clash in December.