McConnell punts on debt ceiling

Updated
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a news conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a news conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh/AP

Boxed in by President Obama’s strategy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tossed out his own “back-up plan” today on the debt ceiling. The Republican floated the idea of making Obama the main authority to raise the debt limit. The bill would transfer the power away from Congress, along with the good and bad buzz that comes with it.

Challenging Obama’s leadership, McConnell said “I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable.”

Under McConnell’s scheme, Obama would submit a formal request to raise the debt ceiling with Congress. Unless both the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate voted to stop the transaction (highly unlikely) the request would stick.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters said he’ll consider this option. Of course, Obama could always veto this legislation if it came down to it.

What’s missing in this alternative: all the spending cuts the GOP reportedly wanted so badly. But, it does seem to stop the potential economic train wreck if the debt ceiling is not raised by the August 2 deadline.

Earlier on the Senate floor, McConnell said “The president has presented us with three choices: smoke and mirrors, tax hikes, or default. Republicans choose none of the above.”

Tonight, Lawrence will address the Republicans’ predicament, courtesy of President Obama. Tune in at 8pm ET.

Debt, Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama

McConnell punts on debt ceiling

Updated