But Republicans have warned repeatedly that they are unwilling to support raising the debt ceiling, leaving the fate of both measures in doubt. In pairing the two, Democratic leaders hoped to pressure Republicans into dropping their opposition and allowing passage of legislation that is expected to contain urgently needed spending, including disaster relief to help their states.
“Addressing the debt limit is about meeting obligations the government has already made, like the bipartisan emergency Covid relief legislation from December, as well as vital payments to Social Security recipients and our veterans,” the top two Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, said in a joint statement announcing their plan. “Furthermore, as the administration warned last week, a reckless Republican-forced default could plunge the country into a recession.”
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, has argued for weeks that it is the ruling party’s responsibility to finance the federal spending it has endorsed, particularly as Democrats seek to maneuver trillions of dollars in spending around unified Republican opposition.