McConnell: No new debt ceiling vote until "well into 2018"


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's latest bill is attempting to end the concept of the "debt ceiling" for good.

The news comes as a blow to Democrats hoping the short-term debt limit deal struck with President Donald Trump would provide them leverage in accomplishing some of their top priorities, including crafting legislation to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Clearly irked by the perception that he got rolled by Democrats when President Trump accepted their proposal for a three-month extension of the debt limit and government funding, Mr. McConnell, an avid college football fan, said Democrats "spiked the ball in the end zone a little too early".

Trump and Democrats also reached a deal to extend the debt limit until December, overruling McConnell and other GOP congressional leaders, who wanted a longer-term agreement that extended past the 2018 midterm elections.

"Since I was in charge of drafting the debt ceiling provision that we inserted into the flood bill, we likely - nearly certainly - are not going to have another debt ceiling discussion until well into 2018", said McConnell, according to the Times report on the interview.

"One of the advantages of being the majority leader is you control the paper", Mr. McConnell said, referring to legislation.

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"It complicates things. It's really not necessary", Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.

But it does decouple the debt limit and government funding votes, which might have together provided an irresistible temptation to hostage-takers, from Democrats wanting a DREAM Act or an Obamacare fix, to Republicans wanting big domestic spending cuts.

But McConnell on Tuesday said he had added an amendment that allows the government to take extraordinary steps, such as borrowing from federal agencies, to be able pay its bills without borrowing more money until sometime next year.

Still, McConnell argues that it is beneficial to have such an option available on the table to delay the debt ceiling, and could be deployed at a later date to get the Republicans out of another jam down the road.

"The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump deal is bad", Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said on Twitter.