House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they will not vote for a debt ceiling increase longer than three months, threatening to derail a long-term plan to raise the nation's borrowing limit by a Sept. 30 deadline as well as an emergency federal funding package for Hurricane Harvey that is to be linked to it.
Democrats are demanding their own wish list items in exchange for their vote, which is needed due to conservative backlash over debt limit increases.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told the Washington Examiner the Democrats' proposal for a three-month extension is "ridiculous and disgraceful," and "unworkable."
He suggested the limit would be lifted for longer than three months. Ryan condemned the move.
"To play politics with the debt ceiling like Schumer and Pelosi are apparently doing, I don't think is a good idea," he said.
The Democrats' list includes legislation to legalize people brought to the United States illegally as children, as well as federal funding to bolster the failing Obamacare health insurance marketplace.
"Democrats are prepared to offer our votes for the Harvey aid package, and a short term debt limit increase of three months," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.
"Given Republican difficulty in finding the votes for their plan, we believe this proposal offers a bipartisan path forward to ensure prompt delivery of Harvey aid as well as avoiding a default, while both sides work together to address government funding, DREAMers, and healthcare."
The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on an $8 billion aid package for Hurricane Harvey. The Senate will then add a debt ceiling bill to the Harvey aid legislaiton and send it back to the House, which is expected to take it up before Saturday, according to a House Appropriations Committee aide.
But Republicans want a longer extension of the debt ceiling and will now be forced to either give in to Democrats' demands or enter a standoff with the minority as the debt ceiling deadline approaches on Sept. 30.