CRISIS LOOMING – Will They Actually Work Together This Time?

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Senate conservatives are pushing for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to stand by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and call for any bill that would increase the debt ceiling to also set out major fiscal reforms.

Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) have all been working to increase support for a debt ceiling increase that needs to be accompanied by fiscal reforms. They are now increasing the pressure on McConnell, calling for him to remain on McCarthy’s side during a time when Democrats are trying to drive a wedge between the two GOP leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), following the meeting with President Biden to discuss the debt ceiling increase, claimed that McCarthy is the “lone holdout” from an agreement that would eliminate the chances of the country defaulting.

Scott, however, stated in an interview that Senate Republicans needed to continue supporting McCarthy and that for something to pass through the Senate, nine Republicans would need to vote for it. Scott also held a press conference with 21 other Republicans to show further support for McCarthy.

McConnell and Scott have a charged history, as Scott tried to challenge McConnell’s position as Senate Republican leader following the 2022 midterm election. However, McConnell easily retained his position in a 37-10 vote. Still, this has further brought to the forefront the differing opinions in McConnell’s conference.

On Wednesday, Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told the Hill that the Senate leader was aware that there were different positions in his conference.

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