So he and Schumer are privately floating creating a new process that would allow the debt ceiling to be raised by just 51 votes in the Senate — with just Democratic votes — and only in this specific instance. But to create that new Senate process, a law needs to be enacted first, meaning there would need to be 60 votes to break a likely GOP filibuster in order to advance legislation creating the process.
To ease its chances of passage, Democrats and McConnell have discussed tying this new Senate process to the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass bill that sets the country’s defense policy. Once the NDAA would be signed into law, then Congress could raise the debt ceiling under this new process — and do it on Democrats’ votes alone.
Democrats are eying three different options in the House: One would be to include a debt ceiling measure in the underlying defense bill; another would be to pass the Senate process bill separately from the defense bill; and a third would be for the House to approve a rule that would allow the new process to be added to the defense bill once it passes the House chamber and before Senate consideration.
Each of those options would require 60 votes in the Senate to advance before the new fast-track process could become law.