Mitch McConnell has one big job right now

Mitch McConnell has one big job right now
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1220329114. Mitch McConnell speaks as President Donald Trump points to the crowd 10.13.18 Richmond, Kentucky MAGA Rally
The Right Wing

People who pay attention to important things like the global economy are starting to get a little nervous about the potential, or more like inevitable, debt-ceiling fight looming in the coming weeks. That includes some lawmakers who see a "heightened" risk in whom the already erratic Donald Trump has chosen as his closest adviser—acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

It's something to worry about. It was reportedly Mulvaney, the former Freedom Caucus maniac, who pushed Trump to ask a federal court to destroy the Affordable Care Act over the objections of White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Attorney General William Barr. Mulvaney has happily been part of the hostage-taking of the debt ceiling his whole career, and is buttressed now by his replacement at the Office of Management and Budget, Russ Vought, who believes in forcing budget cuts in debt-ceiling hikes. So there's that.

"I'm fearful. It's going to be really ugly," said one House Republican on the Appropriations Committee. A Republican is saying that. Here's a Democrat: "My biggest concern is that there are irrational people who are willing to risk the country's financial status for hyperbolic gain and that there are folks out there who've forgotten compromise." That's Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democratic Appropriations Committee member.

It's not just the country's financial status—the U.S. defaulting on its debts could have global repercussions. With the U.K. flirting with economic disaster in Brexit, and the U.S. itself slouching toward recession, this is not a good time for brinksmanship. Congressional leadership knows that, and is starting discussions to try to avert this crisis.

But of course, they've been there before. They had a spending deal all worked out before Christmas, and the Senate was ready to pass it, when Trump pulled the plug and kicked off the longest government shutdown in the nation's history. Resolving this is going to take leadership in the Senate that Mitch McConnell has yet to demonstrate against Trump.

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