Former President Donald Trump accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of giving Democrats "a lifeline" after Senate lawmakers announced an agreement on a short-term extension of the nation's debt.
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, presented a twofold deal to Democrats to give them more time to pass a long-term debt limit by implementing a budgetary tactic without needing a single GOP vote. As part of the deal, Republican lawmakers would help fast-track the budget reconciliation if the Democrats raised the debt limit themselves.
"The Senate is moving toward a plan I laid out yesterday to spare the American people a manufactured crisis," McConnell said.
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"The Republican Senate needs new leadership," Trump said during an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity on Thursday night. "I've been saying it for a long time. Mitch is not the guy. He's not the right guy. He's not doing the job."
Trump argued McConnell had not only given the Democrats a "lifeline" but also handed the Democrats more "time now to figure out what to do."
"They were in a real big bind. They wouldn't have been able to do anything," Trump said. "He had the weapon, and he was unable to use it."
The Senate voted Thursday night, 50-48, to push the looming debt crisis back temporarily by a couple of months — extending the deadline to Dec. 3 and providing the Treasury with roughly $480 billion in borrowing authority.
Trump blasted McConnell for caving in a press statement Thursday evening, encouraging Republican politicians not to vote for the "terrible deal" being backed by "folding Mitch McConnell."
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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned earlier in the month the United States was at risk of facing a recession unless Congress raised the debt ceiling by Oct. 18, a date identified to urge lawmakers to act quickly.