WASHINGTON, Oct.6 (Reuters) – A threat from Democrats to remove the obstruction rule from the U.S. Senate colored Wednesday’s behind-the-scenes efforts to avert a looming federal debt default, which economic analysts say could disrupt the global financial system.
President Joe Biden, a former senator who has long championed the filibuster rule that requires 60 out of 100 House members to agree on most laws, said Tuesday evening that Democrats would consider doing an exception to the filibuster to raise the government’s debt ceiling of $ 28.4 trillion. and defend the economy.
Democrats overturned a vote early Wednesday afternoon after Senate top Republican Mitch McConnell proposed a plan that would save more time to resolve the issue. Without Congressional action to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury Department predicted it would no longer have the means to meet all of its obligations by October 18.
Although McConnell has not explicitly linked his offer to support a temporary extension of the debt limit until early December, he and his fellow Republicans have expressed their concerns in public remarks.
Hours before announcing his offer, McConnell made direct reference to the filibuster by warning the Senate that Democrats could “intentionally play Russian roulette with the economy in an attempt to intimidate their own members into go back on their word and ruin the Senate. “
Democrats hold just 50 Senate seats, with their majority coming from Vice President Kamala Harris’ ability to break ties. But it allowed Republicans to use filibuster to block many of their priorities, including immigration reform and voting rights bills.
Some caucus members have called for detonating the filibuster, an unofficial Senate tradition, although Biden and two moderate Democrats, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, opposed.
Manchin on Wednesday reiterated his opposition to an end to filibustering, a term that the Senate says is derived from a Dutch word for hacker.
“I have been very, very clear on my position on filibuster. I have been very clear that nothing is changing,” the West Virginia Democrat said at a hastily organized press conference.
Supporters of filibuster claim it ensures the stability of the law, preventing major elements of American life from changing whenever control of the Senate shifts from party to party.
But the threat of a surge in interest rates, a wave of layoffs and a sharp drop in the stock market if the United States defaults would have increased the pressure on holdouts to agree to the ‘eliminate.
House Republican Senator John Thune told reporters removing the filibuster would be “a horrible option for this institution (and) the country.”
Reporting by David Morgan; edited by Grant McCool
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