For months, Senate Republicans promised they would not enable President Joe Biden’s "Build Back Better" agenda by letting Democrats raise the debt limit without going through the time-consuming parliamentary process called reconciliation.
“If our colleagues want to ram through yet another reckless tax and spending spree without our input, if they want all this spending and debt to be their signature legacy, they should leap at the chance to own every bit of it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in August. “So let me make something perfectly clear: If they don’t need or want our input, they won’t get our help with the debt limit increase that these reckless plans will require. I could not be more clear. They have the ability to control the White House, to control the House, to control the Senate. They can raise the debt ceiling.“
But the help of Senate Republican leadership is exactly what Democrats got Friday afternoon when 14 Senate Republicans voted with Democrats, thus paving the way for Democrats to raise the debt limit without going through the difficult reconciliation process. In addition to McConnell, the 13 other Republicans were:
Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, John Thune of South Dakota, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
It is possible that the Democrats will still fail to pass Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, an agenda that the Congressional Budget Office said will add $791 billion to federal deficits in just five years.
But if the Democrats are somehow able to get West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to vote for almost another trillion dollars in deficit spending while inflation is already at a 40 year high, it will be justified to blame these 14 Republicans in helping Democrats get there.