Durbin says Democrats are considering McConnell’s fallback option
July 12th, 2011
07:56 PM ET
3 years ago

Durbin says Democrats are considering McConnell’s fallback option

Washington (CNN)- A back-up plan proposed by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell that would keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its debts next month is viable and under consideration by Senate Democrats, according to Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber.

“We’re talking about it as one of the options, yes,” Durbin said in response to a question about whether the McConnell plan is viable.

Durbin spoke to reporters upon returning to the Capitol after a meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama and bipartisan congressional leaders who are trying to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling by August 2 and stave off an unprecedented U.S. default.

Durbin’s reaction is the first concrete response from congressional Democrats to the proposal McConnell, R-Kentucky, announced Tuesday afternoon. Until now, aides and others have withheld comment as they considered the details of McConnell’s complex plan.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, who also participated in the White House meeting, confirmed the proposal was discussed, but declined to say whether it would be adopted.

The McConnell fallback option to the debt impasse would allow the president to raise the debt ceiling with three short-term increases through the end of his first term.


Filed under: Debt • Deficit • Dick Durbin
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. NC Independent

    This is nothing but a cheap political game. The Senate and Congres need to do their job. Republicans want to use this in 2012 to campaign that the President raised the debt ceiling 3 times. McConnell is trying every trick in the book to make President Obama a 1 term President. The debt ceiling has always been raised during past Presidents term with a vote. 2012 can't come soon enough so Republicans can be defeated.

    July 12, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. A Kickin' Donkey

    Under George Bush, these debt ceiling bills were literally 2 to 3 sentences long. They were pro-forma documents where the Treasury filled in the number. They were routinely passed with no fanfare and no gimmicks.

    I resent how these Congressmen and Senators are dragging all this out. They are like a plumber who comes to your house and overinflates the cost – - running up their bill – - in this case, Congress is posturing to make itself seem more relevant than it is.

    The debt ceiling historically is the equivalent of replacing a washer. After all their macinations and waste of time, money, effort and testing the public's patience , it looks like the GOP will be forced to change the friggin' washer.

    Let me be clear – as a citizen, I have no appetite to revisit this again. The facet better not drip in the next 18 months.

    July 12, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Bob Myatt

    Playing your political games with senior citizens lifes is not a good idea boys. Those of us whom are still around come Nov. 2012? Will make sure you're not.

    July 12, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. carly

    It is time for the Dems to grow some balls and stop letting the Republicans lead them around. Obama has the Republicans cornered and they know it. They wanted deficit reduction and Obama has provided them with a $4 trillion plan now its their turn to take some heat and compromise.

    July 12, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. KatR

    Don't do it Mr. President. It's not only unconstitutional it's a trap set by the GOP to put the whole ball of wax in your hands. Remember McConnell saying over and over that he wanted to make you a one term president. These GOP fascists are willing to do aything to make that happen.

    July 12, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. The Clear Thinking Independent Voter

    Mr. McConnell, your "plan" is a political gimmick. You are part of the problem. Please don't insult the nation's intelligence now and suggest you are a vital part of the solution.

    The President has the nuclear option – - the Constitution – - and unlike in the Cold War with the Soviets there is no Mutually Assured Distruction risk for him. He has bent over backwards to work with your side and independents like me have seen it. He has demonstrated his good will, time & time again only to have the GOPTP to refuse to work with him.

    You yourself said you refuse to work with this President to do the people's business. Maybe you should resign or be removed from office – by any means necessary.

    I hope he has Eric Holder combing through laws looking for a way to lock you up and charge you with divided loyalties as a high crime against the People of the United States. I hope he uses the "nuclear option" and puts a mushroom cloud over any member of the GOP caucus that has obstructed him.

    July 12, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  7. they call me "tater salad"

    And as usual the Dummycrats are all too willing to shoot themselves in the foot by taking the bait set out by the Retardlicans. Gluttons for punishment much?

    July 12, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  8. Lee

    So lets drag this debt ceiling issue on for the next year and a half when jobs should be THE central issue the president and congress should be dealing with. Just another crazy & stupid idea the repubs have come up with. When it comes to job creation they have offered absolutely no proposals to get people back to work other than continuing to give the so called job creators tax breaks. There are jobs bills waiting in Congress to be passed and Boener the leader is doing nothing about that.
    It's disgusting and shameful of whats going on. Democrats DO NOT cave in to these unfair lopsided demands the repubs are insisting upon. The majority of the American people are with you. Listen to us.

    July 12, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. roscoe

    Don't do it. Fix this thing now for the long term.

    July 12, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Alan

    MR. Durbin – a vote for those short term ideas is a guarantee that you will not be in office come the end of your present term sir. My 12 yr old daughter who doesn't earn what you earn sir could have come up with Mr. McConnell's idea with is no solution – but like a bureaucrat you are sir, you jump to it, past your commander in chief, past the American public's wishes..so count the days until the end of your term because if the people of your state don't recall you...I can promise they will not vote for you next time.

    I have an idea – hold back the salaries of House and Senate and executive branch officials including the President and Vice President until a long term solution is reached..then you all will begin to really feel our pain!

    July 12, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  11. Dan J

    I neveer would have guessed that McConnell and Durbin would be the voices of reason.

    July 12, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  12. GOP = Greed Over People

    No, no no, either default or not, but do it sooner rather than later. Use the rest of the Congressional session to try and put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

    July 13, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  13. gutsycall

    The Bush tax code. And all is well, right. We need to close cvorporate loopholes. NOW.

    July 13, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |