President Trump tweeted on Thursday that the debt ceiling debate is the fault of GOP leaders in Congress. Trump wrote that he asked his Republican leaders in Congress to tie the legislation raising the debt ceiling to a Veterans Affairs bill. They did not do it, and now it has led to political chaos.
Targeting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Trump tweeted:
“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval.”
The president followed with this tweet: ”They didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!”
The Congress faces a looming deadline at the end of September to raise the debt ceiling. If they fail to raise the ceiling, it will prevent America from being able to make all of our payments and affect the nation’s bond rating.
The veteran’s legislation Trump wanted the debt ceiling tied to was signed into law on Wednesday. It accelerates the appeals process for disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Reports about these two items being tied together began surfacing in mid-July, though it was not clear that the president initiated the suggestion.
Representative Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), chairman of the House of Veterans Affairs Committee, said that a connection made sense.
“You know how this place works: You always stick something people love onto something people hate,” Roe said. “Obviously something that has to be done — that’s what we always do to get the debt ceiling raised,” he said.
Mitch McConnell has declared that lawmakers and the president will not let the U.S. default on its debt at the end of September. “There is zero chance — no chance — we won’t raise the debt ceiling,” McConnell said during a Louisville, Ky., event with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
But a debt ceiling bill will need to have the support of at least eight Democrats if it is to get through the Senate. That gives the minority party significant leverage in the debate.
Should GOP leadership have tied the two pieces of legislation together?
Credit: The Hill