Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced a bill to raise the federal debt ceiling on Thursday, hoping to show that Democrats would not support it (video below).
However, Sen. McConnell got a shock when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for a vote on the legislation, which would have allowed President Obama to raise the federal debt ceiling himself, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
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Suddenly, Sen. McConnell changed course and asked for a 60-vote approval, which was basically a filibuster of his own bill.
Sen. Reid shot back: “What we have here is a case of Republicans here in the Senate once again not taking ‘yes’ for an answer. This morning the Republican leader asked consent to have a vote on this proposal, just now I told everyone we were willing to have that vote up or down vote. Now the Republican leader objects to his own idea. So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill, so I object.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) also slammed Sen. McConnell’s legislative trick: “What just transpired deserves a word. Sen. McConnell came to the floor this morning and offered a change in law that would help us avoid the kind of obstruction and the kind of show downs we’ve had in the past over the debt ceiling.”
Sen. Durbin said this was probably the first time in history that a senator had filibustered his own bill.