WASHINGTON — A group of Democratic senators predicted Wednesday that Republicans won't push the debt ceiling issue during ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations.
"I think they learned their lesson with the debt ceiling," said Sen. Chuck Schumer. "I don't think it's leverage at all. Any talk that that is leverage for them, I think, is false."
President Barack Obama and Democrats have insisted that Republicans agree to raise the debt limit as part of any fiscal cliff deal, and the president has proposed taking away Congress' future power over the limit. Republicans, meanwhile, have insisted that they will use the debt limit as a bargaining tool.
Speaking to a group of reporters Wednesday, the group of Democrats urged House Republicans to ignore outstanding obstacles to a fiscal cliff deal, such as the debt limit, in the short term, and to immediately move forward with a vote on extending tax cuts on income up to $250,000.
"We are not going to negotiate those details until there is a vote on tax cuts," Schumer said.
Schumer, joined by Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Mark Begich, stood next to a sign that bore the message "In 27 days middle-class taxes will go up $2,200 unless the House acts."