Some Republican lawmakers are unhappy with the debt ceiling deal that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell struck with Democrats to temporarily pull the U.S. government back from the brink of a catastrophic default.
A GOP Senate source familiar with the matter told FOX Business that there’s some displeasure among Republicans over how the deal was rolled out, with members worried that it’s not the best option or the best way to avert a debt crisis. There’s also a concern about the narrative Democrats are pushing that McConnell caved by offering a last-minute olive branch.
“This is a complete capitulation,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News’ Jason Donner on Thursday. “The argument made yesterday was, well, this may be more pressure than two Democratic senators can stand regarding changing the filibuster rules. That, to me, is not a very good reason.”
For months, McConnell and Republicans refused to budget from their insistence that Democrats act unilaterally to suspend or raise the debt ceiling through the budget reconciliation process, allowing them to bypass a 60-vote filibuster in the Senate. At the same time, Democrats refused to go it alone and were adamant there was not enough time to use reconciliation, with the U.S. careening toward its first-ever default as soon as Oct. 18.
Instead, Democrats began plotting this week to go nuclear and modify the filibuster to break the debt-limit impasse – allowing the ceiling to be suspended with just 50 votes – driving McConnell to offer an alternate route to temporarily raise the ceiling through December. The Kentucky Republican has been unwavering in the need to preserve the Senate filibuster.
“I think this is just a mistake,” Graham said. “I don’t understand why here at the very end we did this fold, because what you’re gonna do is you’re going to embolden his folks. And I’m not going to live under the threat of the filibuster being changed every time we have a fight. I didn’t do that when we were in charge. If they want to change the filibuster, change it.”
Former President Donald Trump also slammed McConnell, saying in a statement the GOP leader had “folded to the Democrats, again.”