A bipartisan deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling is poised to clear its first major legislative hurdle in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, as lawmakers rush to secure votes in favor of the deal and avoid default.
The White House and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy struck a deal over the weekend that would put the debt ceiling on hold until after the next presidential election in 2024. Reduces funding for the Internal Revenue Service and speeds up permitting for major energy and infrastructure projects.
A majority of members of the powerful House Rules Committee were expected to advance the bill late Tuesday, with a make-or-break vote in the full House as soon as Wednesday. Passing the rules through committee was expected to come to Republican Congressman Thomas Massey of Kentucky, who said Tuesday he was “expected.”[d]Voting to advance the agreement.
For the compromise to become law before next week, it must pass both the House and Senate. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the federal government will run out of money on June 5 if the debt ceiling is not raised on time.
Both the White House and McCarthy have expressed confidence that their deal will be approved by both houses of Congress. But a growing number of lawmakers from both parties have come out against the deal, raising the stakes in what could be a nail-biting vote on the House floor.
Earlier on Tuesday, hard-line Republican lawmakers vowed to do everything in their power to block the bill from being signed into law.
Scott Perry, a right-wing congressman from Pennsylvania and chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, called McCarthy “a complete failure.[ed] “to deliver his mandate” to “hold the line” in negotiations with the White House.
Perry and other hardliners won McCarthy’s opening gamble in the negotiations — the Limit, Save, Grow Act — which would have kept the debt ceiling up until next year. Forgiveness
Standing in front of 10 fellow Republicans who joined his attacks on the deal, Perry said: “These members and others will absolutely oppose the deal, and we will do everything we can to block it and end it now.”
Perry stopped short of calling for McCarthy to lose his job over the deal, but his comments put pressure on the speaker as he seeks to shore up support.
Republicans control the House by a razor-thin margin. With more than a dozen members of the party publicly saying they will vote against the deal, McCarthy will have to rely on critical support from House Democrats to pass the bill.
Many of McCarthy’s former critics have blamed the lawmaker — who was elected speaker in January despite fierce opposition from members of his own party — for his handling of the debt ceiling issue.
But several members of the Freedom Caucus have threatened to hold a “motion to vacate,” or vote of no confidence, if McCarthy does not respond to their calls to abandon the deal.
Republican Congressman Chip Roy of Texas told talk radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday that if the debt ceiling becomes law, “we’re going to have to regroup and reinvent the whole leadership arrangement.”
It’s unclear how many Democrats will support the compromise deal when it comes to a vote in the House. Many progressive lawmakers have questioned whether Biden gave too much to Republicans in the negotiations.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said her group was counting votes before deciding whether to take an “official stand.” Leaders of the New Democratic Alliance, a centrist group of Democratic lawmakers, issued a statement Monday urging their members to support the deal.
The Congressional Budget Office, a government agency that analyzes the law’s impact for lawmakers, said late Tuesday that the deal would reduce the deficit by $1.5tn over the next decade compared with current projections. While conservative opponents of the deal see that number as too small, it could be comforting to mainstream and moderate Republicans who lean toward supporting the deal.
Additional reporting by Colby Smith