Mitch McConnell may offer short-term debt ceiling extension following pressure from Biden

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, August 3, 2021.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may on Wednesday offer a short-term suspension of the U.S. debt ceiling to avert a national default and economic crisis until Democrats are able to pass a more permanent solution, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

The development comes as President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress amped up pressure on Republicans to act on the debt limit.

The stopgap offer from McConnell would take some pressure off both parties to reach a compromise by Oct. 18, when the Treasury Department estimates the U.S. will exhaust its emergency efforts to pay the government’s bills.

Republicans and Democrats have clashed in recent weeks over how best to raise or suspend the federal borrowing limit and it was not immediately clear if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would be open to McConnell’s potential plan.

McConnell and Schumer are set to meet later Wednesday, according to Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, which could lead to greater clarity on a possible agreement.

Other outlets reported Wednesday afternoon that McConnell may offer Schumer a couple months to delay a permanent debt limit remedy, with some reporting the stopgap could last until November or December.

CNBC’s Ylan Mui contributed reporting.

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