Key senators break with McConnell over debt limit plan

Cohn tells CNN in a separate interview on “New Day” that the president supports McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. “There is a window right now where we have to get this done. The president supports leaders on both sides.”

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With the U.S. at risk of defaulting on its debt if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, 14 Republican senators have broken ranks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to advance an expedited process that would allow fast-track procedures to pass a debt limit increase.

If McConnell tried to accomplish that through the normal filibuster process, he likely would need 60 votes, which Democrats have promised to block. To overcome that obstacle, he had to pick up the 14 votes that are the equivalent of just one Democrat.

Ranking Democrat Dick Durbin tells CNN that while he will support the expedited process, he hasn’t seen a budget from McConnell yet.

“To try to speed this up and not have a budget to go along with it,” Durbin says, “and to put a load on our children as they pay more taxes than they have had under previous administrations is not appropriate.”

Here’s the statement from Sen. Susan Collins, who is one of the 14 who broke with McConnell:

“I am frustrated that in return for a debt limit vote I believe it is important that Congress follow up with spending cuts. In exchange for a one-year debt limit increase, I would like to see the Congress (first) delay implementation of the ‘Medicare Buy-In’ until a sustainable funding stream can be found for Medicare, and (2) place a moratorium on the waste and abuse of Medicare at a cost of billions of dollars per year.”

And here’s a comment from Sen. Johnny Isakson, who says he is one of the 14 breaking with McConnell on the debt limit.

“I think we have got a responsibility to avert default. But I don’t think there is any benefit to doing that by breaking the filibuster. We have got a very narrow path, probably a Friday vote, and we need to exhaust it before we start work on how to lower the debt and the deficits,” Isakson tells CNN.

The White House backs the fast-track process.

“The President supports the expedited process being pursued in the Senate today, and believes that it is important to advance reforms to lower the deficit while continuing to increase economic growth,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

According to one Republican aide, McConnell is setting up a Thursday roll call.

– Burgess Everett and Tom Kludt, CNN

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