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Thursday, October 21, 2021

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Durbin says GOP playing with ‘loaded weapon’ on US debt limit – Bloomington Pantagraph

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin accused Republican leader Mitch McConnell of “playing games with a loaded weapon” by threatening to filibuster a suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling, saying Democrats are ready to pass the measure on their own.

“We’re going to get this done,” Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “And we’re going to do it in a responsible way and face this as soon as we return next week.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the U.S. government’s cash would run out around Oct. 18, underscoring the market risk of the political deadlock in Washington. President Joe Biden said Saturday it would be “unconscionable” if Republicans blocked a debt limit vote in the evenly divided Senate.

Legislation passed by the U.S. House would suspend the federal debt limit through December 2022.

With Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling on Republicans to let Democrats clear the measure with just 51 votes, McConnell should get out of the way, Durbin said. The Senate minority leader “is wrong” if he thinks he’ll score political points with his stance, he said.

“Let us do it by majority vote, by a Democratic vote,” Durbin said. “We will accept that responsibility.”

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