Another day, another missed opportunity on Capitol Hill. That was the story of Tuesday’s debt-ceiling meeting between White House officials and top Senate lawmakers of both the Republican and Democratic variety. The GOP-led Congress has only about a dozen joint working days left before the Sept. 29 deadline when the U.S. Treasury will no longer be able to afford the government’s bills unless lawmakers raise the debt ceiling.
Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin has been sounding the alarm bells for months to get Republican lawmakers to act, but they were too busy getting things done on health care. The Washington Post‘s Damian Paletta writes:
Mnuchin met Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), searching for ways to raise the debt ceiling, but the gathering ended without any progress — or even a clear sense of what the lawmakers
to deliver votes to raise the limit, according to three people briefed on the meeting who insisted on anonymity to speak candidly about the private discussions.
Several hours after the meeting, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders implored Congress to act, illustrating how serious the Trump administration now believes this issue to be.
“To ensure that we have robust economic growth and promote fiscal discipline, the Trump administration believes it’s important to raise the debt ceiling as soon as possible,” she said at her daily press briefing. “Over the past two decades, members of Congress and presidents from both parties have raised debt ceiling 15 time and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure the full faith and credit of the United States government.”
Just for context, that response was surrounded by a flurry of questions about Trump crafting a bogus response to the Don Jr./Kushner/Manafort meeting and Sanders blaming the Republican Congress for “hurting” Trump’s legislative agenda because it’s too inept to get anything done.