Another debt ceiling fight looms as Biden reveals spending plans

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President Joe Biden has dished on his closed-door negotiations with congressional Democrats over his $2 trillion social welfare and climate spending package.

But the White House and Capitol Hill’s lack of public clarity regarding how Democrats plan to contend with the looming debt limit have observers rattled to frustrated.

Biden conceded that his social spending package will likely include four weeks of paid family medical leave instead of his proposed 12 and an $800 voucher for dental care rather than expanded dental, vision, and hearing Medicare coverage, among other programs, during a televised town hall.

But his administration’s insistence that Democrats and Republicans raise or suspend the debt ceiling together before the Treasury Department predicts the country will default on its roughly $28 trillion loan in December has onlookers like GOP Senate budget and appropriations expert Bill Hoagland worried because Republicans have been adamantly against a statutory increase.

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For Hoagland, now a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, the concern is that if Democrats are not prepared to revise the budget resolution so they can deploy the simple majority procedure known as reconciliation to lift or suspend the debt limit, then the next step could be changing the rules of the Senate to permit them to do so with the 51 votes they have with Vice President Kamala Harris.

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