McCarthy’s confirmation of a House bill to lift the debt ceiling is “necessarily important” for the future of the United States
After weeks of negotiations between the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the House is set to vote Wednesday night on a compromise bill to lift the debt ceiling, as lawmakers race against the clock to avoid an unprecedented default that could come as early as June 5.
The agreement would cut the federal deficit in half over the next decade, according to the CBO. The deficits were projected to be around 7% of what they were. The caps on discretionary spending other than defense make up the smallest part of the budget and would represent most of the deficit reduction.
The 99-page bill appears to be on track to pass, albeit with significant defections from the right and left. The key procedural hurdle was cleared Tuesday evening when it advanced through the House Rules Committee.
House Republicans emerged from a closed-door conference meeting late Tuesday night signaling the “majority of the majority” of their conference will ultimately support the bill.
On Tuesday, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus slammed the deal, arguing it doesn’t go far enough on spending cuts and doesn’t align closely enough with a bill they passed in April.
With comments from the caucus, questions are being asked if members’ displeasure over the bill can lead to a motion to leave the house, a concession McCarthy made in his quest to become speaker.
“There was a group of us who felt strongly that while we didn’t like the bill and we didn’t like the way it was negotiated in many ways, we weren’t going to let our country go over a fiscal cliff and that had to be our guiding force,” she said.
Roy and Dan Bishop, both members of the Freedom Caucus, wouldn’t discuss McCarthy’s future as speaker with reporters.
Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles, one of the conservative holdouts who opposed McCarthy’s speakership in January, said he has been “very pleased” with McCarthy’s leadership.
It isn’t a reflection on McCarthy if you are not happy with the deal or trying to make it better. It is a reflection on the details.
South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, another Freedom Caucus member who initially held out against McCarthy, said discussions about a motion to vacate were unfair to the speaker.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, said he was confident the bill would get a majority of Republican votes and called the motion to vacate a “terrible idea.”
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters she “came into town undecided” but plans to vote to support the bill. She said the deal was absolutely amazing. When we have only a few seats in Congress, it’s hard to do that.
Rep. Thomas Massie, who was key in advancing the bill through the Rules Committee, said he told members in the meeting that he was glad they had “three days to read the bill because it took me 2.5 to get to yes.”
“This is probably the first bill in 10 years that I’ve ever been able to vote for that actually does cut spending. I asked every Democrat and every Republican if it cuts spending during the Rules Committee hearing. They know that it does. The Kentucky Republican toldNPR that it’s the first chance in a long time and he’s not missing it.
The House Appropriate Hearing for the “Flavor” Proposed to the Boehner-McCartan-Hopf Speaker’s Motion
He said the private meeting made a motion to vacate easy because there were members who said they wouldn’t vote for the bill but support McCarthy as speaker.
I was involved in three different efforts to get rid of John Boehner. I co-wrote that motion to vacate with Mark Meadows,” he said. “It’s framed and on my wall. There are several whereas clauses that describe a long train of grievances. There’s not a long train of grievances Here. You don’t punch the umpire in the first inning, right? Like, OK, you didn’t like the call. Get in there and play ball and then we’ll find out if the ump is any good or not.”
“I’m no on the bill, but McCarthy is the man we’re with,” said Donalds, a member of the Freedom Caucus. We’re going to roll with him.”
Many House Democrats are upset with the new work requirements and pollution provisions in the bill. Several members were unsure about how they would vote on Wednesday.
“I have talked to people from the White House. She said that the people know what she’s worried about. “Many concerns — but there’s another 24 hours.”
Is It a Deal First? Hakeem Jeffries Explains the Absence of a First-Law Delay in the House Minority Caucus
Although it’s expected that a bloc of moderate Democrats will support the bill, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries signaled Tuesday that members could wait on the floor to see how many Republicans support it before offering up their votes.
When it comes to the resolution, what we want to know is how many votes Republicans will produce. Initially, we heard that 95% of the House Republican conference supports this agreement. “It doesn’t appear to be the case,” he said. The expectation is that the House Republicans will keep their commitment to produce at least two-thirds of their conference.
Biden said that the House took a crucial step to prevent a first-ever default and protect the hard-earned and historic economic recovery. “Neither side got everything it wanted. That’s the job of governing. I want to thank Speaker McCarthy and his team for negotiating in good faith, as well as Leader Jeffries for his leadership.”
Threatening Default is like threatening to blow up a bank unless the teller will give you a special mug and $150 in exchange for it. It’s a bizarre mismatch of means and ends.
Is it a deal first, do we have it? Kevin McCarthy had to endure a lot of failed votes in order to win the speakership. The message seemed clear: He served at their pleasure. As a part of the agreement that won him the gavel, he agreed to allow any dissatisfied member to call a vote on his speakership at any time, even if they did not like it. The danger of default was there. Biden and McCarthy could always reach a deal. The Freedom Caucus, Biden and McCarthy were not satisfied with the deal.
House-Debates the Biden-Binden Debt Ceiling Bill As Default Deadline looms: A Clean Fiscal Responsibility Act in 1923
The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1923, which lifted the debt limit for one and a half years, was approved by the chamber on a 314-117 vote.
“Was [the bill] everything I wanted? No. But sitting with one House, with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president who didn’t want to meet with us, I think we did pretty dang good for the American public,” McCarthy said during a press conference following the vote, referencing his frequent complaint that Biden wouldn’t meet with him again after a February meeting until House Republicans passed a debt ceiling bill of their own.
Democrats during the floor debate reiterated a claim they’ve made for months: that House Republicans held the economy hostage by not agreeing to pass a clean debt limit bill.
Hakeem Jeffries praised his members for being able to fight back against the Republican efforts to destroy the American way of life.
McCarthy said that he would have done the same thing if Jeffries had waited until the last moment to allow his members to vote. “Well played.”
The bill phases in higher age limits for work requirements on certain federal safety net programs like food stamps, lifting the maximum age from 50 to 54 by 2025. It also would create new exemptions that waive those requirements for all veterans and those experiencing homelessness, and young adults between 18-24-years old aging out of foster care.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., criticized the $Hamilton’s” bill for a clean debt ceiling
A bloc of conservative members expressed their dismay at some of the provisions in the legislation, and argue McCarthy didn’t align the bill close enough to a version the House passed in April.
“People want to compare to what they wanted,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said ahead of the vote. We were going to get a clean debt ceiling with nothing, that’s what they should compare us to.
GOP members left a closed-door conference meeting Tuesday night largely quashing the idea that disaffected members could move to oust McCarthy under a provision he agreed to during his fight for the gavel that allows any single lawmaker to bring up a snap vote to potentially oust the speaker.
Biden has been very involved in reaching out to members to get their support, said New Hampshire lawmaker Annie Kuster. They talked by phone about the legislation. A major portion of Democratic votes came from Kuster’s New Democrat Coalition. Kuster, who voted for the bill, said she hopes the compromise deals paves the way for a new chapter in bipartisanship.
“Since the prior president and certainly since Jan. 6th, it’s been very difficult in the Capitol working across the aisle. It’s been very painful,” she said. I think this agreement is going to lead to a more productive relationship between Republicans and Democrats.
The Story of Chip Roy: When the California Right fought over the Cliff to oust McCarthy in his First Deal with the Freedom Caucus
The GOP right has plagued past Republican speakers, and to win this speakership, McCarthy had to make some big concessions to another one of the Five Families: the archconservative Freedom Caucus.
And, perhaps most importantly, the California congressman, who has never been beloved by the most conservative faction of his party, agreed to lower the threshold to bring a vote to the floor to oust the speaker to just a single member.
McCarthy did not turn to the hard right in his first deal with Democrats, but to the likes of Johnson and Graves.
Graves is seen as a get-it-done person among Republican members. He was a part of the battle to get money for the restoration of the coastline after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Freedom Caucus member Chip Roy of Texas said he was willing to go over the cliff in order to get more cuts.
He reminded people of the fact that the Rules Committee wouldn’t allow reporting out rules without at least 7 GOP votes.
But like another Roy this week who needed just one more vote to get what he wanted (see Roy, Kendall of Succession), in the end, he couldn’t persuade conservative Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie to help him block the bill from advancing past the committee.
On PBS NewsHour Tuesday night, Scott Perry, the Freedom Caucus Chairman, declined to say whether he would force a vote to oust McCarthy if the debt-ceiling vote failed.
It’s important for McCarthy to know that in the end, Michael Corleone was able to wrest control from Barzini, Cuneo, and Stracci.
The delayed rematch also means McCarthy might not have to put forward another hard vote for his members for a year and a half. That is important for him, since he may have angered the far right by getting this deal over the finish line.
It’s a good news that the economy is shaky and inflation is high. He has plenty of other vulnerabilities to worry about, and another debt-ceiling fight right in the middle of a presidential campaign is the last thing he or his staff needed.
He did it in 2011 with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell on the debt ceiling. Despite GOP intransigence only getting worse, Biden has been able to pull off several bipartisan pieces of legislation.
Biden got the presidential nomination despite his more moderate profile, and McCarthy has the support of the overwhelming majority of his conference.
The Five Families: How Dusty Johnson Averted the Debt-Censored, First-ever U.S. Bankruptcy Deal
Only a few dozen of 435 swing districts can be considered truly competitive today, which means there is very little incentive for lawmakers to compromise.
In a time when cynicism about politics seems to be everyone’s gut reaction, it’s easy to overlook the role of lower-profile lawmakers who helped avert a debt-ceiling crisis.
“Moderates?” tweeted Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., one of the lead negotiators of the debt-ceiling deal that passed the House overwhelmingly Wednesday night. He prefers the descriptor: “pragmatic conservatives who actually care about getting to work.”
It is one of the mafioso-themed families that the Republicans refer to as Five Families. The Main Street Caucus, and a host of other coalitions in the middle, like the “New Democrat Coalition” on the other side of the aisle, were critical in securing support for the deal.
There were plenty of well-founded complaints on either side — on the left, worries about increased work requirements that could hurt people in poverty, nervousness about the environmental impact of sped-up energy permits; on the right, continued head-shaking about what they see as out-of-control spending and debt, now topping $30 trillion.
The Senate still has to pass the measure, but if it does, as is expected, it will be those who eschewed the wings of their parties — which have some of the most vocal, attention-getting members — who averted a potentially calamitous, first-ever U.S. debt default.
The negative feelings towards him on the right have ballooned over the last two years as conservatives wrongly painting him as a puppet of the left.
He had to make concessions to get the job he’s wanted for more than a decade, and he wound up empowering the most extreme and pugilistic in his party in the process.
That’s backed up by data. The parties, especially Republicans, are far more homogenous and ideologically aligned on almost every issue, from guns to abortion rights to gender identity.