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The Wall Street Journal: Republican senators pledge not to help Democrats on debt ceiling

WASHINGTON — Most Republican senators have signed on to a pledge to force Democrats to raise the debt ceiling through procedures that don’t rely on GOP votes, escalating the political tug of war over who is responsible for keeping the U.S. from defaulting.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in an interview that some 46 Republicans have signed on to a letter that he circulated during a rapid-fire series of votes on a budget resolution that kicks off Democrats’ efforts to pass a $3.5 trillion cornerstone of President Biden’s agenda.

“They shouldn’t be expecting Republicans to raise the debt ceiling to accommodate their deficit spending,” Johnson said.

The Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget outline doesn’t include a measure to increase the U.S. government’s borrowing limit. Democrats plan to pass their antipoverty and climate plan through a process called budget reconciliation, which requires just a simple majority. In the 50-50 Senate, Democrats don’t have the 60 votes needed to pass a debt-ceiling increase through the ordinary legislative process.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had previously said Democrats shouldn’t expect any Republican help on the debt limit, and reiterated that position Tuesday.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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