McConnell uses debt confrontation to undermine Biden’s agenda – the Denver Post

WASHINGTON – In the frantic attempt to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has held an unusual position of power, as the one who orchestrated both the problem and the solution.

McConnell is no longer the majority leader, but he is exercising his minority status in complicated and unknown ways, all in an effort to stop President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and even if doing so pushes the country into dire economic uncertainty.

All that said, the outcome of this debt crisis leaves zero confidence that there will be no next. In fact, McConnell engineered the end of the showdown that ensures Congress will be in the same place in December when funding to pay America’s bills runs out. That means another potentially devastating debt showdown, all while the COVID-19 crisis persists and the economy struggles to recover.

“Mitch McConnell loves chaos,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. “He is a very smart strategist and strategist, but the country pays the price very often for what he does.”

The crisis has cemented McConnell’s legacy as a master of detour. He is the architect of the impasse and the one who resolved it, even if only in the short term. More battles are ahead as Democrats shrink Biden’s big agenda, a now $ 2 trillion expansion of health, child care and climate change programs, all paid for with taxes on corporations and the wealthy who oppose the Republicans.

For some Republicans, McConnell is a canny leader who uses every tool at his disposal to harness power and undermine Biden’s priorities. For others, including Donald Trump, he is weak, he has “collapsed” too soon. For Democrats, McConnell remains an infuriating rival who has shown once again that he is willing to break one institutional norm after another to pursue Republican power.

“McConnell’s role is to be the leader of the opposition and his job is to reject what the majority wants to do,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist.

“No one should be surprised to see that the leader of the Republicans makes it difficult for the Democrats to work,” he said.

The risks are clear, not just for Biden and the Democrats who control Washington.

The debt showdown left Democrats portrayed as big spenders, willing to add to the nation’s debt, now $ 28.4 trillion, to pay the bills. But both parties have contributed to that burden due to past decisions that leave the government rarely operating in the black.

Republicans also risk recrimination from all sides of their deeply divided party. By easing the crisis, McConnell insulated his Republicans from further blame, but angered Trump and his allies, who are eager to skewer the Kentucky senator for compromising.

Leave a Comment