The White House and top Democrats seem mightily determined that Congress should and will succumb to their demands to unconditionally raise the country’s now $17 trillion borrowing limit in the latest iteration of a debt-ceiling showdown coming at the end of February, but on Sunday morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out that their stance is a completely glib dismissal of the debt-ceiling hike’s history as an opportunity to get some major legislative stuff done. Especially considering that we are now running our biggest debt and deficits ever, we should probably do something to address that — but the election-year politics serving as the backdrop to this one are going to make it particularly tricky.

Some of the most significant legislation passed in the last 50 years has been in conjunction with the debt ceiling. … I think for the president to ask for a “clean” debt ceiling when we have a debt the size of our economy is irresponsible. So, we ought to discuss adding something to his request to raise the debt ceiling that does something about the debt or at least does something positive for our country. … I think the president is taking an unreasonable position to suggest that we ought to treat his request to raise the debt ceiling like some kind of motherhood resolution that everybody just says “aye” and we don’t do anything when we have this stagnant economy and this massive debt created under his administration.