[Senate Republican Leader Mitch] McConnell asked Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow a vote on President Obama's proposal to give the president unlimited authority to increase the country's credit limit.
But when Reid granted his request...McConnell balked and essentially filibustered his own proposal.
McConnell had wrongly bet that Reid wouldn't have the votes to pass the president's debt ceiling plan, helping Republicans show that Obama’s plan couldn't win the support of his own party and must not be a serious proposal made in good faith. He successfully used a similar gambit yesterday when he offered a White House proposal shopped by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that Reid declined to vote on.
But by bringing just the debt-limit proposal to the floor, McConnell overplayed his hand and gave Democrats an opening to continue to push Republicans to allow an up-or-down vote on their leader’s proposal.
“Senator McConnell’s filibuster prevented us from having this vote today, but I will continue to seek an agreement to hold an up-or-down vote on his proposal to avoid another debt ceiling debacle,” Reid said in a statement after the vote.
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the following statement today after Senator McConnell filibustered a bill to give the President the authority to raise the debt ceiling – a bill that Senator McConnell introduced earlier today.
“The Senate should pass Senator McConnell’s proposal to give the President the authority to avoid the knock-down, drag-out fight we had over the debt ceiling last year – a fight that caused the first-ever downgrade of this country’s credit, and cost our economy billions. Senator McConnell’s filibuster prevented us from having this vote today, but I will continue to seek an agreement to hold an up-or-down vote on his proposal to avoid another debt ceiling debacle.
“After leading three hundred and eighty five filibusters in recent years, Senator McConnell took obstruction to new heights by filibustering his own bill. Republicans’ obstruction and intransigence turned the last debt ceiling fight into a disaster for the middle-class. We should give American families the security of knowing we will never go through such a harmful ordeal again.”