White House press secretary Jen Psaki picked up where President Joe Biden left off Monday in hammering Senate Republicans for blocking Democratic efforts to raise the debt ceiling before the October 18 deadline.
'This is a period of time where we could easily solve this in the next two days, and easily do that through allowing Democrats to be the adults in the room, despite the fact that Republicans spent like drunken sailors for the last four years before President Biden took office,' Psaki said at the afternoon press briefing.
Earlier, Biden lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his caucus, saying their actions were 'hypocritical, dangerous and disgraceful,' because they've objected when Democrats have tried to pass a debt ceiling bill.
Republicans are trying to force Democrats into using reconciliation - which bypasses the Senate filibuster - to bump up the debt ceiling, while the White House is demanding that the GOP simply not filibuster the already-passed House debt ceiling bill.
'What is happening in the Senate right now is Senate Democrats have proposed that they would, they would do all the votes to raise the debt limit. They are happy to be the adults in the room,' Psaki said. 'They are not even asking Republicans to vote for it at this point. We know they're unwilling to be the adults in the room.'
White House press secretary Jen Psaki blasted Republicans for spending 'like drunken sailors' under former President Donald Trump, and then tripping up Democratic efforts to increase the debt ceiling
At Monday's briefing, Psaki stood alongside a chart that showed how much the debt had grown under Trump and how much it's increased in the first nine months of the Biden administration
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a letter to President Joe Biden Monday maintaining that Republicans wouldn't help Democrats raise the debt ceiling
But Republicans look unlikely to budge.
Asked why the White House wouldn't just push Democrats to use reconciliation to get the bill done, Psaki replied: 'Why let McConnell off the hook, or Republicans off the hook?' she asked reporters in the room. 'I mean, it is their debt.'
She brought along a visual - a chart entitled 'Debt Increase During Presidency' - to provide context at the briefing.
'The moment we're in, as the president talked about earlier today, is despite the fact that under the last administration nearly 8 trillion in bills was compiled - I have a little chart here just to give you a little visual - almost $8 trillion during the Trump administration, $676 billion during the Biden administration,' Psaki noted.
'So what Sen. McConnell is refusing to do is pay the debts of what were rung up under his leadership when he was in the Senate - still continues to be, of course - and when Trump was president,' she continued.
She pointed out that the 'debt limit is about paying the bills we have already spent.'
'It is not about initiatives that we are talking about and debating now,' Psaki said.
Earlier, a frustrated Biden spoke in the State Dining Room and accused the Republicans of playing 'Russian Roulette' with the American economy.
He told reporters he couldn't guarantee the U.S. wouldn't default.
'No I can't. That's up to Mitch McConnell,' Biden answered.
President Joe Biden hammered Republicans for refusing to raise the debt ceiling in Monday morning remarks from the White House.
President Joe Biden (right) and First Lady Jill Biden (left) arrive back at the White House Monday morning after spending the weekend in Wilmington, Delaware
Biden said he would speak to reporters later, as he's slated to speak at 11:15 a.m. about the debt ceiling
The Bidens walked hand-in-hand across the South Lawn Monday morning as they arrived back from Wilmington, Delaware
'They won't raise it,' Biden complained. 'Even though defaulting on the debt would lead to [a] self-inflicted wound that takes our economy over a cliff and risks jobs and retirement savings, social security benefits, salaries for servicemembers, benefits for veterans and so much more.'
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to colleagues Monday morning telling them, 'we must get a bill to the president's desk dealing with the debt limit by the end of the week. Period.'
Schumer didn't say what