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Why McConnell and McCarthy Locked Arms over the Debt Ceiling

McConnell is now aligning his interests with the House Speaker

When President Joe Biden called Mitch McConnell to talk about the debt limit, a funny thing happened: The Senate GOP leader, after two years of breaks with Kevin McCarthy, fell into full alignment with the speaker.

McConnell confirmed in an interview that he was clear with Biden, his old negotiating partner, during their call last week: You’ve got to cut a deal with McCarthy, not me.

After working with Biden in the past to avert fiscal calamity, the Senate minority leader is steadfast that this time it’s McCarthy and Biden’s job to avoid default. Ahead of Tuesday’s debt meeting with the president and bipartisan Hill leadership, McConnell describes himself as essentially powerless to do anything other than support his fellow Republican leader given the House’s GOP majority.

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