Dem Senator Says Debt Ceiling Could Be Used as Hostage for Hearings

February 16, 2017

Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) agreed with MSNBC's Katy Tur on Wednesday that Senate Democrats could hold the debt ceiling as hostage in order to convince Republicans to investigate former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Tur asked Coons what Democrats could do as they are in the minority in both houses of Congress.

Coons said he hoped they would get a subpoena against Flynn, and if an investigation could not move forward they would look towards having a private investigation outside of Congress.

He added that there are already a number of Republican senators who are concerned about a collusion between Trump and Russia, citing Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), and Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.).

"If there really was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, that's an issue of national security," Coons said. "That's an issue of a direct assault on our democracy, and if a number of Republicans and Democrats work together, we can confront this important challenge to our democracy."

Tur asked Coons again what Democrats could specifically do if Republicans do not cooperate with them on forming an investigation, such as blocking Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, or allowing the debt limit to expire.

"Yes, Katie, there's a range of things that we could do but I don't think we should get there yet," Coons said.

"Let's see if we're able to make progress, and if not, you just laid out a number of leverage points that we might be able to use to get the attention of the White House and of Republicans in the Senate," he said.