Republicans are torn between a desire to run the clock as long as possible on health care legislation, and a desire not to have to return to work next week to hold an essential vote on a bill to raise the country’s debt ceiling. All week, it’s been unclear exactly how they’ll overcome the impasse, but at his press conference today, McConnell suggested that Republicans might reconfigure their strategy a bit, in order to finish up all of the Senate’s business before holiday recess.
“As I said, we’ll be voting on the 24th, exactly the time of that, we’ll be able to tell you after Senator Reid and I lock in a consent agreement we’ve been discussing with each other and with our members,” McConnell said.Pressed on whether that means Republicans are prepared to strike an agreement to hold a vote on the debt ceiling now, rather than next week, McConnell tipped his hand…a little.
“We expect to be voting on the 24th,” he said. “We’ll let you know on what when we get the consent agreement.”
That’s a far cry from what his conservative members–particularly Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) were saying just yesterday. We should have a final schedule later today or tomorrow.