GOP and Dems Reach Debt Ceiling Deal

( – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden have reached an agreement about the debt ceiling, and the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 63-36 on Thursday evening.

Some Republicans see it as a victory, while more conservative GOP House members insisted they wouldn’t vote for it. 

The bill will suspend the US debt ceiling through the end of 2024; that limit is currently $31.4 trillion. It puts limits on non-defense-related spending, keeping that spending flat in 2024 with only a 1 percent increase the next year. 

According to a fact sheet from the House GOP, non-defense spending will be put back at 2022 spending levels and would only be allowed to rise 1% per year for the next six years. 

Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who was one of the deal’s negotiators, dismissed the objections of hard conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, many of whom said they wouldn’t vote for the deal because it is not tough enough. McHenry said the deal prevents the White House from getting a lot of what they wanted: new taxes, increased taxes, and government price limits on some pharmaceutical drugs. 

The key issues that Democrats “forced” into the negotiations, he said, are not in this deal. But the left does get an increase in the debt ceiling for 18 months, McHenry said. On the GOP side, conservatives get reduced government spending and the opportunity to make changes to “the permitting process.”

But more conservative Republicans are unhappy with the package. Objectors from the right include Rep Chip Roy (R-TX) and Ralph Norman (R-SC), both of whom sit on the Republican-controlled Rules Committee, which the bill had to pass through in order to reach the Senate.

The agreement also requires the Biden administration to start collecting student loan payments and interest from borrowers again by August 30th. These have been paused as the White House has tried to push through a student loan “forgiveness” plan that appears increasingly unlikely. 

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