(PresidentialWire.com)- Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and ten other Senate Republicans voted to end the debate on raising the debt ceiling, thereby allowing the measure to proceed to the vote. And while no Republicans voted on the final bill to temporarily raise the government’s borrowing limit, former President Trump was not happy that McConnell didn’t maintain the filibuster to block it or force Democrats to use the budget reconciliation process to get it passed.
In an interview on Fox News’ Hannity Thursday night, Trump blasted McConnell for not using his “weapon” against the Democrats and demanded new Republican leadership in the Senate.
Accusing McConnell of giving the Democrats a “lifeline,” Trump told Hannity that “Mitch is not the guy” to lead the Senate Republicans. Trump said that by clearing the way for a temporary debt ceiling increase through December 3, McConnell gave the Democrats “so much time now to figure out what to do.”
“He had the weapon,” Trump said, “and he was unable to use it.”
While the media played up Trump’s attacks on McConnell and framed the debt ceiling vote as a “cave” by Republicans, some in the left-leaning press smelled a rat.
Ed Kilgore at New York Magazine wrote last Thursday that, despite the narrative of “McConnell blinked” and “McConnell caved,” the reality is, McConnell got a lot out of this.
Kilgore believes that by refusing to use the filibuster to stop a party-line vote on temporarily raising the debt limit, McConnell succeeded in keeping Democrats who oppose abolishing the filibuster from jumping ship.
Kilgore also points out that McConnell still got what he wanted – namely, every single Democrat voted to lift the debt ceiling while every single Republican voted against it.
What’s more, the debt limit fight is far from over. This temporary increase of $480 billion extends the fight to December 3 when the Senate will once again have to fight to increase the debt ceiling.
Kilgore argues that Democrats wanted political cover by having a debt ceiling vote that didn’t fall along party lines. They failed. They also wanted to avoid a dollar amount increase in favor of simply suspending the debt limit entirely. That also failed.
The only downside for McConnell, Kilgore explains, is that Trump is out there complaining about him.