Is a Republican Revolt Brewing Against the Debt Ceiling Agreement?
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Just days before a June 5th deadline for a potential default on government debts, Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
Now, they have to convince their members in Congress to go along, but some are already criticizing the agreement.
The deal would increase the nation's 31 trillion dollar debt ceiling by another $4 trillion through 2025 but also place some new restraints on federal spending.
Both leaders say they made compromises.
Biden said, "The Speaker and I made clear from the start, that the only way forward was a bipartisan agreement."
But Biden later said he made no concessions.
Speaker McCarthy praised the deal, calling it "good for the American public."
"It doesn't get everything everybody wanted. But that's the divided government. That's where we end up. I think it's a very positive bill," McCarthy said.
The budget deal keeps most federal spending roughly flat next year, raising it by one percent in 2025. Defense spending would increase.
The agreement also includes new work requirements for government aid, with time limits on how long some Americans can receive food assistance.
While some Democrats are unhappy with the bill, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries indicated congressional Democrats will support it at the end of the day.
"I do expect that there will be Democratic support once we have the ability to be fully briefed by the White House, but I'm not going to predict what those numbers will look like," Jeffries said.
While McCarthy said that 95 percent of his fellow GOP members support the deal, an Axios report says as many as 60 Republican house members could vote against it, and some have already slammed the agreement.
Republican Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina called the deal "insanity," posting on Twitter: "A four trillion dollar debt ceiling increase with virtually no cuts is not what we agreed to. Not gonna vote to bankrupt our country. The American people deserve better."
This “deal” is insanity.— Rep. Ralph Norman (@RepRalphNorman) May 28, 2023
A $4T debt ceiling increase with virtually no cuts is not what we agreed to.
Not gonna vote to bankrupt our country. The American people deserve better.
Fellow congressman Bob Good of Virginia also condemned the proposed $4 trillion increase to the debt limit, tweeting, "IF that is true, I don't need to hear anything else. No one claiming to be a conservative could justify a YES vote."
I am hearing the “deal” is for a $4 trillion increase in the debt limit. IF that is true, I don’t need to hear anything else. No one claiming to be a conservative could justify a YES vote.— Congressman Bob Good (@RepBobGood) May 28, 2023
McCarthy defended the agreement, telling Fox, "I'll debate this bill with anybody, because at the end of the day, is it everything I wanted? No. But we don't control all of it."
McCarthy did claim the deal cancels new money for the Internal Revenue Service, saying, "We repealed every single dollar they wanted to spend on IRS agents this year."
The Speaker says lawmakers will have 72 hours to read the text of the bill before an expected vote Wednesday but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned colleagues of the potential for Friday and weekend votes in the event of filibusters.
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