WASHINGTON (LifeSiteNews) – A group of Senate Republicans is taking fire after voting to carve out the Senate filibuster to let Democrats unilaterally raise the federal debt limit.
The Senate voted 59-35 Thursday to pass legislation that would create a one-time suspension of the 60-vote filibuster ahead of a fast-approaching, first-ever federal default, the New York Post reported. Joe Biden signed the bill, S. 610, on Friday. The House passed it earlier this week.
Democrats are expected to move quickly to increase the debt ceiling by between $2-3 trillion, according to NBC News.
Fourteen Republicans voted to break the filibuster and advance the measure before it finally cleared the Senate with 10 GOP votes, ending months of negotiations as Democrats repeatedly tried to raise the debt limit while pushing a massive social spending package that could cost up to $4 trillion.
The national deficit has already surged by more than $1 trillion during the Biden administration, amid nearly unprecedented federal spending.
The Treasury Department set a deadline of December 15 after which the government would no longer be able to meet its financial obligations for the first time in U.S. history.
“For months, Republicans gave President Joe Biden’s social spending bill the accurate label: ‘the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree,’” Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul noted in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner. “Republicans, in unison, opposed the $2 trillion spending spree Democrats passed this spring. But now, Republican leadership is pushing a bill to forgive all that spending.”
The fourteen Republican senators who advanced the bill include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who helped broker the deal, Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, John Thune of South Dakota, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
Ernst and Wicker voted against the bill’s passage, while Burr and Cornyn voted not present.
Ten of the fourteen senators also voted for the $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill that Biden signed into law last month. Nine voted for a temporary debt ceiling hike two months ago.
McConnell had notably tweeted in September that “Democrats have every tool they need to raise the debt limit,” describing it as “their sole responsibility.” “Republicans will not facilitate another reckless, partisan taxing and spending spree,” he said at the time.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the passage of S. 610, saying Thursday that the proposal “will allow Democrats to do precisely what we’ve been seeking to do for months” and green-light “a simple majority vote to fix the debt ceiling.”
At the same time, former President Donald Trump slammed McConnell for ceding “the powerful Debt Ceiling negotiating block” for “absolutely nothing.”
“Mitch McConnell, the Broken Old Crow, has just conceded, for absolutely nothing and for no reason, the powerful Debt Ceiling negotiating block, which was the Republicans’ first-class ticket for victory over the Democrats,” Trump said. “He was afraid to play that card even though, without question, they would have completely FOLDED on the Build Back Worse Bill, which will destroy the fabric of our Country and virtually anything else that the Republicans wanted.”
“The Old Crow also allowed a breaking up of the filibuster, which allows the Democrats now to establish precedent for changing the number of Justices on the Supreme Court and, perhaps most importantly of all, a so-called Voting Rights Bill, which will make it almost impossible for Republicans to get elected in the future,” he continued.
“Right now, the American people are suffering from the impact of historic inflation brought about by President Biden and the Democrats’ out-of-control reckless spending,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas also said in a statement Thursday. “Democrats have always had the ability to lift the debt limit by themselves to pay for all of their reckless spending, and they should not have gotten help from Republicans.”
“Because of this deal, we will spend more and fuel even higher inflation, which hurts families trying to make ends meet.”
Senate Democrats have already discussed further curbing the Senate filibuster in the future in light of Thursday’s vote. “This is an exception to the filibuster. And the Republicans have just signed on. It’s proof that it’s possible to create exceptions to the filibuster and move forward when it’s important,” Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren told NBC News.
“Do it once, let’s do it twice.”
Cutting back the filibuster would significantly increase Democrats’ chances of enacting pro-abortion and pro-LGBT bills that have stalled in the evenly-split Senate, in additional to nationwide COVID mandates and federal voting legislation.