As Senator, Joe Biden Opposed GOP Debt Ceiling Votes and Mitch McConnell Hasn’t Forgotten

On Monday, President Joe Biden made an impassioned plea for Republicans to help a rise within the debt ceiling, asking them to “cease taking part in Russian roulette with the American financial system.” He accused Republicans of “hypocritical, harmful and disgraceful” partisanship—however 15 years in the past, the shoe was very a lot on the opposite foot.

Then-Senator Joe Biden refused to help a GOP-led effort to extend the debt ceiling, making arguments that intently replicate these superior by Mitch McConnell and the Republican Celebration immediately.

“My vote towards the debt restrict enhance can not change the truth that now we have incurred this debt already, and can little doubt incur extra,” Senator Biden stated following his “nay” vote in 2006. “It’s a assertion that I refuse to be related to the insurance policies that introduced us thus far.”

McConnell was fast to level out the irony in his letter to President Biden on Monday.

“You defined on the Senate flooring that your ‘no’ votes didn’t imply you needed the bulk to let the nation default, however fairly that the President’s social gathering needed to take duty for a coverage agenda which you opposed,” McConnell wrote. “Your view then is our view now.”

The Senate Minority Chief, a Kentucky Republican, recalled 3 times Biden objected to debt ceiling will increase throughout President George W. Bush‘s time in workplace. For each objection—one every in 2003, 2004 and 2006—the Republican White Home had help from congressional Republicans, who held majorities in each the Home and Senate on the time.

When he was a senator from Delaware in Might 2003, Biden voted towards a debt restrict enhance alongside 42 different Democrats and one Republican. Nevertheless, Biden had voted in favor of an modification that proposed lowering “the quantity by which the statutory restrict on the general public debt is elevated.” The White Home referred Newsweek to Biden’s help for the 2003 modification, which in the end didn’t move, when contacted for touch upon Monday.

The subsequent yr, Biden missed a vote on elevating the debt ceiling in November 2004 however later stated he would have voted towards it if he had been current. On the time, Biden requested his objection to the vote be printed within the congressional report to verify his intent to “forged a symbolic vote” towards it, saying the “fiscal mess” was “the inevitable consequence of insurance policies that constantly ignored proof and expertise.”

“My symbolic vote towards elevating the debt restrict would have been a protest of the insurance policies which have introduced us thus far, and a requirement that we alter course,” Biden stated on the time.

Biden subsequently joined all Senate Democrats and three Senate Republicans in voting towards an extra enhance of the debt restrict in March 2006.

Mitch McConnell debt ceiling Biiden letter
Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell on Monday shared a letter addressed to President Joe Biden that recalled 3 times the Democrat objected to GOP-driven debt ceiling will increase throughout his time within the U.S. Senate. Above, McConnell walks from the U.S. Senate chamber to his workplace on the U.S. Capitol on September 30 in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee/Getty Photos

The much more partisan ambiance in Washington 15 years later has made debt ceiling negotiations extra fraught.

Treasury Division Secretary Janet Yellen final week instructed Congress the division “can be left with very restricted assets” after October 18 if the federal authorities’s debt restrict shouldn’t be raised by that point.

“It’s unsure whether or not we might proceed to satisfy all of the nation’s commitments after that date,” Yellen stated in a letter addressed to congressional leaders within the Home and Senate.

Whereas Democrats have pushed to boost the debt ceiling in current weeks, their Republican colleagues have refused to hitch them. Biden on Monday pointed to the bipartisan votes on current debt ceiling will increase beneath former President Donald Trump.

“I hope we will have some clever and trustworthy dialog about what he is proposing,” Biden instructed reporters. “I believe the best means to do that—and if the Republicans wouldn’t use the filibuster—can be to allow us to vote on what’s already within the Senate proper now, handed by the Home, to boost the debt restrict. And we will try this within the subsequent a number of days.”

McConnell wrote that partisanship throughout debt restrict negotiations is “common,” pointing to the votes in 2003, 2004 and 2006 as examples, and stated it’s attainable for Democrats to approve the debt ceiling enhance on their very own by means of the reconciliation course of since Democrats have slight majorities in each chambers of Congress.
McConnell recognized the reconciliation possibility because the “one distinction between then and now.”

“Democrats don’t want our consent to set a vote at 51 as an alternative of 60,” McConnell wrote. “Nonpartisan specialists affirm that Senate Democrats have each essential software to move a standalone debt restrict enhance by means of reconciliation and sufficient time to do it earlier than late October.”

Throughout a Monday press briefing, Biden stated he obtained McConnell’s letter minutes earlier than arriving to handle reporters on the White Home. Biden stated he had learn McConnell’s letter and deliberate to debate its contents with the Republican senator.

When contacted for additional remark, the White Home pointed Newsweek to Biden’s Monday press briefing, in addition to feedback Press Secretary Jen Psaki made individually about McConnell “refusing” to “pay the money owed of what have been rung up beneath his management when he was within the Senate” throughout Trump’s presidency.

“The debt restrict is about paying for payments now we have already spent,” Psaki stated. “It isn’t about initiatives that we’re speaking about and debating now.”

Psaki stated Biden is “open” to a dialog with McConnell in regards to the debt ceiling however added the debt ceiling debate is “not a negotiation.”

“What could be very clear right here is that the cleanest, best, quickest option to get this accomplished is by the Republicans permitting Democrats to maneuver ahead with a vote,” Psaki stated. “They’ll try this tomorrow, and we will cut back the uncertainty for the American folks.” | As Senator, Joe Biden Opposed GOP Debt Ceiling Votes and Mitch McConnell Hasn’t Forgotten


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