U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the House bill that will prevent default and reduce Washington spending:
"The clock is ticking.
"In just a few days, the U.S. government will no longer have the ability to borrow money to pay its bills -- a situation that the President and his advisors have said would trigger an economic Armageddon.
"So I was shocked last night when 53 Senate Democrats issued a letter saying that they intend to vote against the only piece of legislation that has any chance of preventing all this from happening.
"Even more shocking is the fact that Democrat leaders and the President himself have endorsed every feature of this legislation except one: and that's the fact that it doesn't allow the President to avoid another national debate about spending and debt until after the next Presidential election.
"This assurance is the only thing the President and Senate Democrats are holding out for right now.
"The Democrats can try to justify their opposition to the House bill any way they want. They can claim they're worried about a stalemate six months from now. They can ignore the fact that of the 31 times Congress and the President have raised the debt limit over the past 25 years, 22 of those debt limit increases lasted less than a year.
"To make the President's reelection campaign a little bit easier.
"Now, it's inconceivable to me that the President would actually follow through on this threat. After all, the President's first responsibility is to do what's best for the country, not his reelection campaign. Same goes for the Senate Democrats.
"It's inconceivable to me that they would actually block the only bill that could get through the House of Representatives and prevent a default right now. It's inconceivable to me that they would do this for no other reason than to help the President avoid another debate before the election about the need for Washington to get its fiscal house in order.
"But that's precisely what we may be headed for this weekend: guaranteed default, or a bill that takes the specter of a default off the table while giving us another opportunity to address the very deficits and debts that caused this crisis in the first place.
"Democrats are playing with fire here, and it's hard to conclude that they're doing it for any other reason than politics.
"So I would urge Senate Democrats this morning to rethink their position, and to join Republicans in preventing default."