Democrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are playing a risky game of chicken over funding the government and raising the nation’s borrowing limit.

Pelosi and Schumer upped the stakes Monday by announcing they will force Republicans to vote next week on a short-term government funding measure that includes legislation to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

The legislation will also include about $20 billion to respond to recent disasters, ranging from hurricane damage in the Gulf states to millions of acres scorched by wildfires in the West.

Republicans insist they will not vote on any package that includes a debt ceiling hike, something they say Democrats should have to do on their own despite decades of members of both parties voting to increase the borrowing limit to pay for past spending authorized by Democrats and Republicans alike.