The House just passed McCarthy and Biden's debt-ceiling deal, bringing the US one step closer to avoiding a default in a matter of days
- The House voted to pass Biden and McCarthy's bill to raise the debt ceiling by a vote of 314-117.
- It came after lawmakers in both parties expressed opposition to some of the compromises in the bill.
The House of Representatives just took a major step in preventing the US from defaulting on its debt in a matter of days.
On Wednesday night, the House passed President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy's bill — the Fiscal Responsibility Act — to suspend the debt ceiling through January 1, 2025 by a vote of 314-117. It was far from an easy process to get to this point. For months, Biden and McCarthy had been at odds over the best approach to address the debt-ceiling crisis. McCarthy passed a bill in the House last month to raise the debt ceiling through March 2023 accompanied by $4.5 trillion in spending cuts, while Biden was adamant raising the debt ceiling should be a clean and bipartisan deal, without any spending cuts attached.
Biden and McCarthy's bill will cut spending by at least $1.5 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and it has provisions that include codifying the end of the student-loan payment pause and new work requirements on federal programs like SNAP.
"This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy," Biden said in a statement following its passage. "It protects key priorities and accomplishments from the past two years, including historic investments that are creating good jobs across the country. And, it honors my commitment to safeguard Americans' health care and protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It protects critical programs that millions of hardworking families, students, and veterans count on."
—President Biden (@POTUS) June 1, 2023
It wasn't immediately clear that the bill would pass the House. Shortly after the text was released, it gained opposition from both sides of the aisle — some Democratic lawmakers were unhappy with the spending cuts in the deal, while conservative lawmakers were hoping for bigger cuts on more federal programs. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces some opposition, as well.
"I have real concerns about a bill that is designed to take away food from hungry people, to make students who are struggling with debt lock in to pay more, to slow down our efforts in the climate fight and to help out wealthy tax cheats," Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters on Tuesday. "The Republicans have taken hostage of our economy and our good name around the world. And Democrats are forced into having to play the role of grown-ups in the room."
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have already expressed support for the bill, hoping to corral members of both of their parties to vote for its passage.
"President Biden and Speaker McCarthy's agreement will protect the economy and eliminate the threat of a catastrophic default. I support this bipartisan agreement. Nobody's getting all they want—but it takes default off the table and protects key investments we've made," Schumer wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
McConnell also wrote that McCarthy "and House Republicans secured a crucial first step toward bringing Washington Democrats' reckless spending to heel. Their unity forced President Biden to do his job. And soon, it will be the Senate's turn to pass this important agreement."
Congress needs to act quickly to pass the legislation and get it to Biden's desk before the US could default as soon as June 5.
"Senators should be prepared to move on this bill quickly once it is the Senate's turn to act," Schumer said on Wednesday. "I cannot stress enough that we have no margin—no margin—for error."
- India-Canada diplomatic row will not impact military ties: Canadian Army Vice Chief
- India permits 75,000 tonne non-basmati white rice exports to UAE
- WeWork India rejigs senior leadership to boost market presence
- Waheeda Rehman to cap glittering career with Dadasaheb Phalke Award
- Taxing times persist for Delta Corp as ace investor Ashish Kacholia sells shares