McCarthy, Biden Reach Debt Ceiling Agreement ‘In Principle’
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced late Saturday evening that he has struck a tentative deal with President Joe Biden to avoid a disastrous US default. The “agreement in principle” follows a months-long impasse, which has brought the country to the brink of hitting its borrowing limit, with a final deadline set for June 5. Early reports on the deal suggest that it will reign in unspent COVID relief funds, cut funding to the IRS previously allocated by the Inflation Reduction Act, and suspend the debt limit until after the 2024 presidential election. The full text of the deal is expected to be released in full on Sunday, with House members voting on Wednesday.
In a late-night press conference, Speaker McCarthy called the deal “very worthy of the American public.”
“I just got off the phone with the president I talked to him twice today and after weeks of negotiations we have come to an agreement in principle. We still have a lot of work to do but I believe this is an agreement in principle that’s worthy of the American people.”
According to the speaker, the deal contains “historic reductions in spending” as well as “consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce [and] reign in government overreach.”
“There are no new taxes, no new government programs, there’s a lot more within the bill we still have more work to do tonight to finish… I know you’ll have a lot of questions I’m not going to take them tonight.”
According to a report by Fox News, House Republicans were briefed following the conference that the deal would impose a 1 percent growth cap on federal spending for six years, while also allocating more funding for defense spending and veterans support. The deal would also reportedly slash just $1.9 billion of the total $80 billion allocated to the IRS over the next decade.
Several House Republicans have voiced disapproval of the deal, however, pointing out that it falls dramatically short of the goals outlined in the “Growth, Limit, Save Act,” which would have cut back on spending by around $150 billion.
“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.” ~ Rep. Bob Good (R-VA)
House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan however lauded the agreement, telling members, “If I understand, for first time in US history, we’re spending less money than year before. That seems like a pretty darn good deal to me.”
I listened to Speaker McCarthy earlier tonight outline the deal with President Biden and I am appalled by the debt ceiling surrender.
The bottom line is that the U.S. will have $35 trillion of debt in January, 2025.
That is completely unacceptable.
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) May 28, 2023
“I want to brief our members about where we currently are,” McCarthy told reporters Saturday. “I expect to finish the writing of the bill, checking with the White House, and speaking to the president again tomorrow afternoon and then posting the text of it tomorrow and then be voting on it on Wednesday, but thank you for your time and I think this is very worthy of the American public.”
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