Sen. Mitch McConnell's "clever" proposal to give President Barack Obama sole authority to raise the debt ceiling could break the impasse in Congress, Evercore Partners Chairman Roger Altman said Thursday.
The Senate Minority Leader on Tuesday proposed a complicated legislative maneuver whose ultimate effect would allow the president to bypass a deeply divided Congress and raise the debt ceiling.
"Sen. McConnell, among other things, is a very skilled politician and legislator, and this proposal illustrates that," Altman said of the Kentucky Republican. "If there is no other alternative, it might be acceptable" to President Obama, who can act unilaterally, and to Republicans, who won't have to vote on anything raising the deficit.
Altman, a former assistant Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, told CNBC a separate vote on the debt limit "is stupid, because the debt limit is just a product of the budget decisions made earlier."
"Most countries don't vote separately on the budget on one hand and on their amount of allowable debt on the other," he added. "They just have one vote. Of course, we should do that, too."