U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Mitch McConnell) received backlash from other Republican senators last week, giving him a wake-up call that he has no more political capital to help the Democrats raise the debt ceiling again.
McConnell’s reputation took a big hit last week when he suddenly agreed to raise the debt ceiling for two months, running counter to his own statements for weeks that Republicans would not help Democrats on the issue.
McConnell also kept his plan under wraps at a dinner meeting shortly before the statement was released, when Republicans were still discussing options for getting out of the impasse.
As a result, McConnell has heard criticism from allies such as Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt, a member of McConnell’s leadership team; and Lindsey Graham, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, who has tried to ease the tension between McConnell and Trump; and moderate Senator Mitt Romney (Mitt Romney) also expressed his doubts.
A Senate Republican aide, who requested anonymity, said he assessed McConnell’s current position: “He’s put his caucus in a tough spot.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also took a swipe at McConnell, saying, “I believe Democratic Leader Schumer is on the verge of capitulation, and then unfortunately… In the nick of time, the Republicans blinked. That was a mistake.”
McConnell will not be able to muster 10 more Republican votes to help Democrats raise the debt ceiling, which is what he told Biden in a letter Friday. “I will not be party to any future efforts to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement,” he wrote.
A second Senate Republican aide said McConnell no longer has a viable exit plan if Schumer refuses to back down in the fight and “won’t have 10 more Republican votes.”