Tom PorterThu, November 18, 2021, 4:58 AM·3 min readIn this article:
- Trump has launched an attack on Mitch McConnell for cooperating with Democrats in Congress.
- The rambling message criticized the handling of the looming expiry of the US federal debt ceiling.
- Trump threatened to withhold endorsement from Republicans seen to be working with the other party.
President Donald Trump in an insult-laden statement warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not to reach a deal with Democrats on raising the debt ceiling to avoid a government default.
In a rambling statement Wednesday, Trump called McConnell a “Broken Old Crow” for agreeing to a temporary, two month, extension of the debt ceiling limit back in October.
The debt ceiling is the maximum amount the US federal government is allowed to borrow. The US has already borrowed more than that, but Congress has repeatedly suspended the limit to avoid the nation defaulting on its debts.
The US has never defaulted on a debt before, and economists argue that doing so would cause huge damage to the US economy.
Though the two are not directly linked, Trump appeared to mean that McConnell ought to have used the debt ceiling deadline as leverage to frustrate Biden’s plans for other legislation.
“This is the Broken Old Crow’s fault,” said Trump.
“He could have won it all using the Debt Ceiling—they were ready to fold. Now the Democrats have a big victory and the wind at their back.
“McConnell is a fool and he damn well better stop their ‘Dream of Communism Bill’ and keep his Senators in line, or he should resign now, something he should have done a long time ago.”
Trump appeared to be referring to the second, $1.75-trillion spending bill which Biden and his allies hope to get through Congress in November.
The debt ceiling is due to lapse again some time around December 15. McConnell has previously said that he won’t support measures to suspend the limit a second time, leaving them to pass it on their own.
Democrats would be able to act alone on the debt ceiling, but have been reluctant to do so.
Trump appeared to be trying to encourage McConnell to play hardball. He wrote: “Use the Debt Ceiling like it should have been used, you Old Broken Crow, to do so would hurt our Country far less than this horrible Bill. Any Republican in the House or Senate who votes for this Bill will never ever get a Trump Endorsement. Thank you, and good luck!”
A report by The Hill published Wednesday noted that McConnell had been talking with Democrats about the debt ceiling. After a recent meeting he told reporters “We’ll figure out how to avoid default. We always do,” without giving specifics.
Trump has been waging a campaign against McConnell since McConnell criticized him over the January 6 riot, laying responsibility for the violence with the former president in a speech on the Senate floor on January 19.
According to reports, McConnell believed that he had something to lose if he didn’t help suspend the debt ceiling last time.
It said that he worried Democrats may have acted to temporarily lift the filibuster rule, which Republicans rely on to block Democratic legislation and which McConnell has fiercely defended.