On Monday, President Joe Biden made an impassioned plea for Republicans to help a rise within the debt ceiling, asking them to “stop playing Russian roulette with the American economy.” He accused Republicans of “hypocritical, dangerous and disgraceful” partisanship—however 15 years in the past, the shoe was very a lot on the opposite foot.
Then-Senator Joe Biden refused to help a GOP-led effort to extend the debt ceiling, making arguments that carefully replicate these superior by Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party as we speak.
“My vote against the debt limit increase cannot change the fact that we have incurred this debt already, and will no doubt incur more,” Senator Biden stated following his “nay” vote in 2006. “It is a statement that I refuse to be associated with the policies that brought us to this point.”
McConnell was fast to level out the irony in his letter to President Biden on Monday.
“You explained on the Senate floor that your ‘no’ votes did not mean you wanted the majority to let the country default, but rather that the President’s party had to take responsibility for a policy agenda which you opposed,” McConnell wrote. “Your view then is our view now.”
The Senate Minority Leader, a Kentucky Republican, recalled 3 times Biden objected to debt ceiling will increase throughout President George W. Bush‘s time in workplace. For each objection—one every in 2003, 2004 and 2006—the Republican White House had help from congressional Republicans, who held majorities in each the House and Senate on the time.
When he was a senator from Delaware in May 2003, Biden voted towards a debt restrict improve alongside 42 different Democrats and one Republican. However, Biden had voted in favor of an modification that proposed decreasing “the amount by which the statutory limit on the public debt is increased.” The White House referred Newsweek to Biden’s help for the 2003 modification, which finally didn’t cross, when contacted for touch upon Monday.
The subsequent 12 months, Biden missed a vote on elevating the debt ceiling in November 2004 however later stated he would have voted towards it if he had been current. At the time, Biden requested his objection to the vote be printed within the congressional file to verify his intent to “cast a symbolic vote” towards it, saying the “fiscal mess” was “the inevitable outcome of policies that consistently ignored evidence and experience.”
“My symbolic vote against raising the debt limit would have been a protest of the policies that have brought us to this point, and a demand that we change course,” Biden stated on the time.
Biden subsequently joined all Senate Democrats and three Senate Republicans in voting towards a further improve of the debt restrict in March 2006.
The much more partisan environment in Washington 15 years later has made debt ceiling negotiations extra fraught.
Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen final week instructed Congress the division “would be left with very limited resources” after October 18 if the federal authorities’s debt restrict will not be raised by that point.
“It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date,” Yellen stated in a letter addressed to congressional leaders within the House and Senate.
While Democrats have pushed to boost the debt ceiling in current weeks, their Republican colleagues have refused to hitch them. Biden on Monday pointed to the bipartisan votes on current debt ceiling will increase beneath former President Donald Trump.
“I hope we can have some intelligent and honest conversation about what he’s proposing,” Biden instructed reporters. “I think the easiest way to do this—and if the Republicans would not use the filibuster—would be to let us vote on what is already in the Senate right now, passed by the House, to raise the debt limit. And we can do that in the next several days.”
McConnell wrote that partisanship throughout debt restrict negotiations is “not unusual,” pointing to the votes in 2003, 2004 and 2006 as examples, and stated it’s potential for Democrats to approve the debt ceiling improve on their very own by the reconciliation course of since Democrats have slight majorities in each chambers of Congress.
McConnell recognized the reconciliation choice because the “one difference between then and now.”
“Democrats do not need our consent to set a vote at 51 instead of 60,” McConnell wrote. “Nonpartisan experts confirm that Senate Democrats have every necessary tool to pass a standalone debt limit increase through reconciliation and enough time to do it before late October.”
During a Monday press briefing, Biden stated he obtained McConnell’s letter minutes earlier than arriving to deal with reporters on the White House. Biden stated he had learn McConnell’s letter and deliberate to debate its contents with the Republican senator.
When contacted for additional remark, the White House pointed Newsweek to Biden’s Monday press briefing, in addition to feedback Press Secretary Jen Psaki made individually about McConnell “refusing” to “pay the debts of what were rung up under his leadership when he was in the Senate” throughout Trump’s presidency.
“The debt limit is about paying for bills we have already spent,” Psaki stated. “It is not about initiatives that we’re talking about and debating now.”
Psaki stated Biden is “open” to a dialog with McConnell in regards to the debt ceiling however added the debt ceiling debate is “not a negotiation.”
“What is very clear here is that the cleanest, easiest, fastest way to get this done is by the Republicans allowing Democrats to move forward with a vote,” Psaki stated. “They can do that tomorrow, and we can reduce the uncertainty for the American people.”