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McConnell Signals Debt Limit Fight Later This Year

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is teeing up a fight with Democrats over the country’s borrowing limit, as the majority pushes for ambitious federal relief packages. 

The debt ceiling – that’s the total amount of money the U.S. government is authorized to borrow to meet existing legal obligations – was suspended by Congress and former president Trump in 2019.

But now the threshold is back in effect. And it’s unlikely lawmakers will raise it before their upcoming recess, potentially leaving the country near default by the time they return in September.

And Republicans are balking at the idea of voting for a hike or another suspension without getting something in return. 

"Democrats want Republicns to help them raise the debt limit so they can keep spending historic sums of money with zero Republican input and zero Republican votes," McConnell said Monday. 

With debt ceiling language nowhere to be found in a newly-released budget proposal, that could lead to the borrowing debate taking place outside the budget process. In which case, Democrats would need 10 Republican votes.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.