SCHUMER: "If Republicans would just get out of the damn way, we could get this all done."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said senators will vote Wednesday on a Democratic-backed bill - opposed by Republicans - to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling...
SCHUMER: "It's so irresponsible."
...and implored Senate Republicans to allow Democrats to proceed with a simple majority vote in the evenly divided chamber, rather than a complicated procedure known as budget reconciliation, which Schumer has called unworkable.
SCHUMER: "We do not have the luxury of using a drawn out, convoluted and risky process... We can stop this Republican-manufactured debt ceiling crisis in its tracks or Republicans can keep driving our country ever closer to the first default in American history."
Moments before Schumer's rebuke, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell repeated his call for Democrats to use the time-consuming reconciliation process, which would require no Republican votes.
MCCONNELL: "They've had plenty of time to execute the debt ceiling increase and have chosen not to do it... We've been down this path before, when you did not have a divided government and the party in the majority got the job done."
But Democrats have noted that they joined Republicans to vote to raise the debt limit during the administration of Donald Trump, even though they opposed deep tax cuts that added to the debt.
Nevertheless, McConnell said members of his party would block Wednesday's vote as they have already done twice, part of their strategy to distract Democrats from their negotiations over President Joe Biden's ambitious social spending agenda ahead of the 2022 congressional elections.
In the meantime, the country inched closer to what would be an unprecedented and unnecessary default, which analysts warn would roil the global financial system, raise borrowing costs for Americans and eliminate millions of U.S. jobs.