Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats were left to marvel Thursday as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell ended up filibustering his own legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling in order to prevent its passage.
Although McConnell apparently brought up the bill thinking it would not attract Democratic support, Democrats called his bluff and the Kentucky Republican was forced to filibuster it — apparently marking the first time in U.S. history a senator blocked his own bill, according to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
“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,” Reid says in a statement following the episode.
“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,” Reid adds.