Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on Monday that there is “zero chance – no chance” Congress will fail to reach the debt ceiling by late September, an occurrence that would potentially wreak havoc on the economy and government services alike.
McConnell’s remarks were delivered in his home state of Kentucky during a joint appearance with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who implored Congress moments prior to address the debt ceiling dilemma the moment when lawmakers return to Washington after Labor Day, the Washington Post reported.
“There is zero chance – no chance – we will not raise the debt ceiling,” McConnell vowed.
While McConnell did not directly mention President Donald Trump during his remarks, it is his first public appearance since the president publicly criticized him for failing to follow through on the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
When asked about where he gets his news, though, McConnell noted that he reads a variety of sources, including the New York Times, and appeared to slip in a jab at Trump: “My view is most news is not fake. I try to fall in love with any particular source.”
Business leaders have been warily watching Congress to determine whether there is any risk of the borrowing limit not being raised. Such an event likely would raise interest rates, bring about a market panic reminiscent of 2008’s stock market crash, and potentially even result in U.S. debt being permanently downgraded by credit rating agencies.
The government has enough funds to pay its bill through September 29. After that date, Congress must authorize the government to raise the debt ceiling so that it can borrow money to meet its obligations, including Social Security and interest payments.