Back To Debt Brinksmanship? Some GOPer Sens Think It Just Might Be Time

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July 13, 2021 3:54 p.m.

Senate Republicans are considering whether or not to stage a fight over the debt ceiling, which could need to occur by the end of this month.

According to Bloomberg reporter Saleha Mohsin, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that some GOP senators are weighing voting against a debt limit increase.

It’s not clear exactly when the debt ceiling will need to be raised. In 2019, Congress suspended the debt limit for two years, keeping it off the table until that agreement expires July 31.

It was a favorite tool of House Republicans during the Obama administration, who used their post-2010 majority to repeatedly play chicken with a potential default.

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House Republicans kept the federal government shut for weeks in 2013 as they threatened a catastrophic default on the national debt, demanding that the Obama administration agree to repeal elements of Obamacare, or else.

In that case, the Obama administration refused to back down. Now, Senate Republicans are purportedly discussing whether to do the same to the Biden administration.

“There is a fair bit of discussion about why would we help them do it at all at this point,” Cramer said, adding that “fiscal responsibility arguments went out the window.”

It’s not clear when Democrats plan on holding a vote to raise the ceiling, or if they’re trying to secure another suspension of the limit.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who oversees Republican Senate strategy for 2022, suggested in April that the GOP would resurrect debt ceiling hostage-taking for the Biden administration.

“I think people agree with me. I think Republicans agree that we have too much debt and that we have to figure out how to live within our means,” he said at the time.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) remarked on the issue in May.

“You know, I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the Republicans are using the debt ceiling, which deals with the financial security, as sort of a political issue,” Schumer said. “We should get something done in the right way.”

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