Schumer Calls McConnell’s ‘Last Choice Option’ on Debt Ceiling a ‘Political Document’

Jul 13, 2011 11:32am

ABC News' Sunlen Miller (@sunlenmiller) reports:

As Senate Majority Leader Reid convenes a meeting with the Democratic leadership today to discuss Minority Leader McConnell’s “last choice” option at least one Democrat railed today about what the proposal really boils down to: politics.

“It seems to be a political document,” Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor, “Senator McConnell, realizing the consequences of doing that would fall on the party that doesn't believe it's important to do, had to act.”

Schumer said the McConnell proposal only throws the “responsibility to the other side” of raising the debt ceiling with President Obama, who under the McConnell proposal, would likely veto the resolution of disapproval on a debt limit increase, shouldering the responsibility.

Having said that, Schumer did not outright reject the McConnell proposal. While saying that his proposal has a “good deal of fault” he countered, that at least McConnell is doing something to work towards a final goal that could mean a debt limit increase. 

“The substantive good news here is that the plan that Mitch McConnell offered for all its faults makes the likelihood of debt, of not paying our bills, of not halving the debt ceiling less likely,” Schumer said. “Senator McConnell has at least recognized, even if partially politically, the gravity of the situation.”

Schumer then went on to blast Eric Cantor, singling out the House Majority Leader for, what he says, is his lack of leadership and compromise. He says that even House Speaker John Boehner was entertaining compromise for awhile, until he stepped away from the Grand Bargain on Saturday.

“There is only one person who hasn't come up with a plan, hasn't compromised, hasn't reached out to the other side in an effort to move forward, and that is the majority leader in the house, Mr. Cantor. He is the only one who still says my way or the highway. Every other leader has said they are willing to make certain concessions even though they don't like them to avoid default. The nation and of course this Congress is waiting for leader Cantor to step up to the plate in a similar way.”

House Majority Leader Cantor made a proposal at the White House on Monday, which outlines $353 billion in health care cuts, with $250 billion in reductions in Medicare.

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