The U.S. debt ceiling deadline is approaching, and a deal to avoid a government default has been reached between the White House and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
The agreement would suspend the debt limit until January 2025 in exchange for some spending restraints. However, up to 20 House Republicans have voiced their opposition, viewing the deal as too diluted. As a result, a bipartisan vote is required for passage since Republicans hold a narrow majority in the lower chamber.
Leading the charge against the compromise is the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “This deal fails, fails completely,” said Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), the group’s chairman. “We will do everything in our power to stop it and end it now.” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) also criticized the deal, stating that not one Republican should vote for it as it would allow the government to borrow an additional $4 trillion with no returns.
⚠️ DEBT CEILING DEAL: “Not one Republican should vote for this deal. It is a bad deal. No one sent us here to borrow an additional $4 trillion to get absolutely nothing in return.” @RepChipRoy #ampFW pic.twitter.com/T5lHIWpKRQ
— FreedomWorks (@FreedomWorks) May 30, 2023
The legislation faces its first major test in the House Rules Committee on Tuesday, where dozens of amendments have already been proposed by both Republicans and Democrats. CNBC reports that if at least 20 Republicans refuse the deal, several Democrats would have to support the compromise for it to advance. A full House vote could happen as soon as Wednesday if there are no surprise hold-ups in the rules panel.
If the legislation passes the House, it would need to be approved by the Democrat-led Senate before reaching President Joe Biden for a signature. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the United States may not be able to meet all its financial obligations as early as the first part of June. She urged Congress to act swiftly to avoid a default, which could have dire consequences for the economy.
While some leftist circles have criticized the agreement, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) reaffirmed that Democrats are committed to avoiding a default. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also expressed his support for the bipartisan agreement between the White House and McCarthy.
Reps. Cory Mills (R-FL) and Russell Fry (R-SC) are among those who have lamented the apparent death of the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, a bill the GOP-led House passed last month that would allow the limit to be lifted by $1.5 trillion in exchange for spending cuts and reforms. They view the current deal as a watered-down compromise.
As Congress works to reach a resolution, all eyes are on the House Rules Committee’s decision on Tuesday. If the legislation advances, it remains to be seen whether there will be enough support from both sides of the aisle to avoid a government default.