Durbin says GOP is playing ‘loaded gun’ on US debt limit

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(Bloomberg) – Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin has accused Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of “playing games with a loaded gun” by threatening to obstruct a suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling, saying the Democrats are ready to pass the measure themselves.

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“We’re going to get there,” Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And we’ll do it responsibly and deal with it when we get back next week.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that U.S. government liquidity would be depleted around October 18, underscoring the market risk associated with the political deadlock in Washington. President Joe Biden said on Saturday it would be “unreasonable” if Republicans blocked a debt limit vote in the equally divided Senate.

Legislation passed by the United States House would suspend the federal debt limit until December 2022.

With Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling on Republicans to let Democrats erase the measure with just 51 votes, McConnell is expected to step aside, Durbin said. The senatorial minority leader “is wrong” if he thinks he will score political points with his position, he said.

“Let’s do it by a majority vote, by a Democratic vote,” Durbin said. “We will accept this responsibility. “

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