Senate Leaders Urge President Obama To Consider ‘Any Lawful Steps’ To Avoid Default

President Obama should consider “any lawful steps,” including action without congressional approval, to raise the federal debt ceiling in order to avoid a repeat of the brinksmanship last seen on the issue in 2011, top Senate Democrats advise. In a letter to the president dated January 11, the Senate Democratic leadership warns Obama not to fall prey once again to intransigence and obstruction from Republicans, who made a political issue over raising the debt limit which ultimately downgraded the government’s sterling credit rating. The Democrats’ letter doesn’t mention it explicitly, but it would seem to be tacit approval over a plan to mint a $1 trillion coin to avoid the sort of damaging negotiations with GOP lawmakers over the debt … Continue reading

Reid: ‘McConnell Took Obstruction to New Heights by Filibustering His Own Bill’

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 … Continue reading