Mitch McConnell Debt Ceiling Plan Splits Republican Party
Senator Mitch McConnell's plan to avert an imminent U.S. debt default could lead to a day of reckoning for his Republicans as they weigh the prospect of fiscal disaster against the demands of Tea Party activists.
With other efforts to raise the federal government's debt ceiling at a standstill, McConnell's "Plan B" to avoid default is increasingly seen as "Plan A" in Washington.
The proposal by the top Republican in the Senate would dump the task into the laps of President Barack Obama and his Democrats, forcing them to back a $2.4 trillion increase in borrowing before the November 2012 elections as recession-weary voters worry about the country's growing mountain of debt.
Pinning the debt increase on Obama and the Democrats could help McConnell pick up the four seats needed to win Republican control of the Senate and further his stated goal of making Obama a one-term president.
It also may ensure his party avoids getting blamed for an August 2 default that could push the United States back into recession and upend financial markets across the globe.