US House of Representatives passes Bill to raise debt ceiling
1 June, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The United States House of Representatives passed legislation late Wednesday to implement the debt ceiling agreement negotiated by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, putting Cong...
The United States House of Representatives passed legislation late Wednesday to implement the debt ceiling agreement negotiated by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, putting Congress on track to approve additional borrowing just days before the government is expected to run out of money.
The agreement, which also satisfies the GOP demand to reduce nondefense discretionary spending over the next two years, was supported by majorities in both parties, and it was approved by a vote of 314 to 117.
Democrats supported the bill 165-46, while Republicans supported it by a vote of 149-71. Democrats took credit for their role in advancing the bill. 52 Democrats joined with Republicans in an unusual procedural vote earlier in the day to keep the bill alive, Fox News reported.
Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said on Wednesday night, “I thank House Democrats for your steady hand, for your unity of purpose, for your efforts to make sure that we push back the extreme mega Republican efforts to jam right wing cuts down the throats of the American people that would have undermined the health, the safety and the economic well-being of everyday Americans.”
He added, “From the very beginning, House Democrats were clear that we will not allow extreme MAGA Republicans to default on our debt, crash the economy or trigger a job killing recession. Under the leadership of President Joe Biden, Democrats kept our promise and we will continue.”
Calling the bill “objectionable,” former House speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “It will avert unprecedented default, which would bring devastation to America’s families.”
McCarthy, a Republic from California, praised the bill’s spending reductions despite the fact that the package fell short of conservatives’ original goal of cutting expenditure by around USD 150 billion from this year to the next.
He said, “Tonight we’re going to do something we haven’t done before,” McCarthy said. “Tonight, we are going to vote for the largest savings in American history – over $2.1 trillion. That’s what we’re voting for. Every great nation that has overextended itself has collapsed”, according to the Fox News report.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised earlier in the day that it would be debated “as soon as possible.” Unless senators object to moving quickly, that vote is expected to take place this week.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the US government will be unable to meet its ongoing obligations if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt ceiling by Monday, June 5.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to a question about whether a Senate vote by Friday was feasible, saying, “I can tell you what I hope happens… that we can finish this Thursday or Friday and soothe the country and soothe the markets”, reported Fox News.
The final deal reached over the weekend suspends the debt ceiling indefinitely until January 1, 2025. It also reduces non-defense spending to levels comparable to fiscal 2022, caps growth at 1% for the next two years, and proposes optional caps for the next four years. It also recovers some cash earmarked for the Internal Revenue Service and certain Covid-19 pandemic funds that have yet to be spent.
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