All day long, there has been a buzz about a Republican “revolt” against the temporary debt-limit deal Mitch McConnell proposed on Wednesday that Senate Democrats reluctantly accepted. Led predictably by perennial presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the fight against heading off a financial collapse by punting a debt-limit crisis until December also drew support from perennial troublemaker Lindsey Graham:
With a cloture motion to end the Republican filibuster on tap, it looked like white-knuckle time for McConnell, all right, particularly since the leader of his party, Donald J. Trump, was attacking him on the usual “weak-RINO” grounds for giving Democrats, and, incidentally, the global economy, a reprieve from disaster:
In the end, 11 Republicans (Barrasso, Blunt, Capito, Collins, Cornyn, McConnell, Murkowski, Portman, Rounds, Shelby, and Thune) voted for cloture, paving the way for a vote on the debt-limit increase McConnell and Schumer had agreed upon. It duly passed on a strict party-line vote.
Assuming nothing crazy happens in the House, the manufactured crisis over the debt limit — and with it, the threat of a financial-system collapse — hasn’t ended but was postponed until early December. Pundits will now have plenty of time to figure out whether the “revolt” against McConnell’s deal in his own conference was as phony as the crisis itself, or if it suggests the Kentuckian’s grip on the upper chamber is getting shakier. Without question, this gambit will become part of the perennial MAGA indictment against the GOP Establishment.