US National Debt Exceeds $20T After Congress, Trump Approve Debt Limit Bill

"Since I was in charge of drafting the debt-ceiling provision that we inserted into the flood bill we likely - nearly certainly - are not going to have another debt-ceiling discussion until well into 2018", McConnell told The Times.

Clearly irked by the perception that he got rolled by Democrats when President Trump accepted their proposal for a three-month extension of the debt limit and government funding, Mr. McConnell, an avid college football fan, said Democrats "spiked the ball in the end zone a little too early".

McConnell also raised doubts about another agreement between Trump and Schumer - to end the requirement that Congress approve the Treasury Department's request to raise the federal debt limit to allow it to keep borrowing money to pay the government's bills.

"One of the advantages of being the majority leader is you control the paper", McConnell said. We should use this frightening $20 trillion milestone as a turning point when leaders put fixing the debt ahead of political priorities and work together to put our debt on a sustainable path, so we can grow the economy and improve the economic well-being of the American people.

Getting the debt ceiling deadline out of December is important for Republicans, who don't want it to be used as leverage for the spending bill talks that will happen that month.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) proposed the deal.

But separating the two issues could force Republicans to take two tough votes.

McConnell and fellow Republican congressional leaders opposed the deal but they voted for the legislation when it came to the floor.

McConnell said Tuesday that he does not expect to have to raise the debt ceiling again until "some time next year", due to extraordinary measures the government can take to buy time, which he has said he pushed to include in last week's package.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: 'The President appreciates Congress putting aside partisan politics and acting quickly to ensure that first responders, local officials and federal emergency management personnel have the resources they need to respond to the natural disasters impacting our nation'.

Republicans at the time slammed the President's decision to overrule them and instead make a deal with the Democrats.

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