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McConnell vows GOP won't help raise debt ceiling after Schumer ‘rant’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo by Getty Images)

US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has warned President Joe Biden that Republicans won't help raise the debt ceiling later this year, and let the United States default on trillions of dollars of debt.

McConnell wrote in a letter to Biden on Friday that a recent speech by Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) had "poisoned the well."

"Last night, Republicans filled the leadership vacuum that has troubled the Senate since January. I write to inform you that I will not provide such assistance again if your all-Democrat government drifts into another avoidable crisis," McConnell wrote.

On Thursday night, 11 Republicans helped advance a short-term debt ceiling extension, after a weeks-long standoff between Republicans and Democrats over raising America’s $28.4 trillion debt ceiling.

A day earlier, McConnell offered to let Democrats pass the short-term extension that is expected to last into early December.

Senate Republicans have twice in recent weeks blocked action to raise the debt ceiling. They said Democrats can use a parliamentary maneuver known as budget reconciliation to act alone, while senior Democrats have rejected using that approach.

On Thursday night, when 11 Republicans joined Democrats in the Senate to advance the debt ceiling bill, Schumer railed against them.

Schumer slammed the Republican Party debt ceiling strategy, accusing them of playing a "dangerous and risky partisan game" and saying Democrats were able to "pull our country back from the cliff's edge that Republicans tried to push us over."

Schumer’s outburst angered several Republican senators as well as Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Manchin and GOP Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and GOP Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) were among the senators who spoke to Schumer after the speech.

"Last night, in a bizarre spectacle, Senator Schumer exploded in a rant that was so partisan, angry, and corrosive that even Democratic Senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him. This tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence from Senator Schumer," McConnell wrote.

McConnell warned that Schumer's "childish behavior" had "alienated" Republican senators who helped advance the short-term debt increase and "poisoned the well even further."

“I am writing to make it clear that in light of Senator Schumer’s hysterics and my grave concerns about the ways that another vast, reckless, partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement," he added.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has for weeks warned Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the US will no longer be able to honor its debts around Oct. 18. Lawmakers must raise or abolish the debt ceiling before that date or risk the first-ever US default.

The US Treasury Secretary has warned that the US economy would fall into a recession if Congress fails to raise or suspend the debt limit before the country defaults on trillions of dollars of debt.

“I fully expect it would cause a recession as well,” Yellen said on Tuesday, a day after US President Joe Biden accused Senate Republicans of taking a "reckless" position in refusing to join Democrats in voting to raise the government's $28.4 trillion (28,400 billion) debt limit. 

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