Former President Trump says that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should be impeached if he backs a plan for the debt ceiling to be eliminated over fears that House Republicans could cause the U.S. to default on the nation’s credit.
When asked by conservative radio host John Fredericks on Thursday about chatter surrounding the possibility of Congress effectively eliminating the debt limit, the ex-president lambasted the idea.
“It’s crazy what’s happening with this debt ceiling. Mitch McConnell keeps allowing it to happen. I mean, they ought to impeach Mitch McConnell if he allows that,” Trump said. “Frankly, something has to be — they have something on him. How he approves this thing is incredible.”
Members of the Senate and House cannot be impeached, though both chambers can remove a lawmaker with a two-thirds vote. The president is not involved in that process.
A McConnell spokesman declined to comment.
The remark comes shortly after a renewed effort by House Democrats to do away with the debt ceiling during the upcoming lame-duck session over fears that House Republicans, who are expected to capture the majority in Tuesday’s midterm elections, will use the borrowing limit battle to win cuts in federal spending and other programs.
Thirty-one House Democrats, led by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), signed a letter calling for its elimination in the coming weeks.
“It’s a loaded gun pointed at the U.S. economy, but fortunately, we actually have a chance to disarm it before it’s too late,” Boyle recently told The New York Times. “If we don’t do this in November or December, we are going to seriously regret it come next year.”
McConnell said in 2017 that the idea of doing away with the debt ceiling would be “quite a challenging undertaking.” He was responding to a push by Democrats to get rid of it — an idea that was at the time embraced by Trump.
“It complicates things. It’s really not necessary,” Trump said about the debt ceiling at the time.
Trump also signed multiple bills to extend the debt limit, including one in 2019 that lifted it through mid-2021.
“We can never play with it,” Trump said of the debt ceiling in July 2019. “I can’t imagine anybody ever even thinking of using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wedge.”
The Trump-McConnell relationship has changed significantly since then. The two have not spoken since McConnell congratulated President Biden on his 2020 electoral victory, with McConnell reportedly vowing to never speak to Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Last year, Trump ripped McConnell for cutting a deal with Democrats to raise the debt limit.
“Looks like Mitch McConnell is folding to the Democrats, again,” Trump said in an October 2021 statement. “He’s got all of the cards with the debt ceiling, it’s time to play the hand. Don’t let them destroy our country!”