McConnell, R-Ky., railed against Democrats' plans to pass a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill without GOP support. He said if Democrats want to go alone on more "reckless" spending, they'll have to raise the debt limit themselves, too.
"Let me make something perfectly clear: If they don’t need or want our input, they won’t get our help," McConnell said Thursday from the Senate floor. "They won’t get our help with the debt limit increase that these reckless plans will require."
McConnell said Democrats control government, so the burden is on them to raise the debt limit.
"They control the White House, they control the House, they control the Senate," McConnell said. "They can raise the debt ceiling, and if it’s raised, they will do it."
Lawmakers already missed a Saturday deadline to extend former President Trump's two-year suspension of the nation's borrowing limit, which was automatically reinstated at the beginning of August.
The debt ceiling, which hit $22 trillion in August 2019, is the legal limit on the total amount of debt that the federal government can borrow on behalf of the public, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB). Once the suspension lifted, the new limit was reinstated around $28.5 trillion, a figure that includes debt held by the public and the government.
On Monday, the Treasury Department began deploying so-called "extraordinary measures" to ensure the government can continue to pay its obligations for the time being. But if the debt ceiling is not raised or suspended, the U.S. government can no longer issue debt and will soon run out of cash on hand.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has pointed out that the debt limit is about paying past bills, not about future legislation. He accused McConnell of playing "shameless" political games with the full faith and credit of the United States.
"This debt is Trump debt," Schumer said on July 21. "It's COVID debt. Democrats joined three times during the Trump Administration to do the responsible thing. And the bottom line is that Leader McConnell should not be playing political games with the full faith and credit of the United States. Americans pay their debts."
Without any GOP support to bypass the 60-vote filibuster, Democrats will need to raise the debt limit in their $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that would require unanimous Democratic support to pass the 50-50 split Senate.
FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.