WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives passed a bill late Wednesday afternoon that would raise the nation’s debt ceiling. It would also address excessive spending by the government. President Biden has already promised to veto the plan. But the move does set the stage for a showdown, pushing Senate Democrats and Biden to sit down and negotiate with Republicans.
It was a big moment for the GOP, and especially House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), after the bill passed by the narrowest of margins, 217 to 215.
“We passed this early,” McCarthy told reporters outside the Capitol. “We are in April, way ahead of the debt limit. We were the only party to take fiscal action in a sound mind that would lift the debt limit so we wouldn’t have economic damage.”
The plan would raise the government’s debt ceiling by nearly $1.5 trillion until March of next year in exchange for spending cuts amounting to $4.5 trillion.
It would limit federal spending, allowing federal discretionary spending to increase by only 1% annually in the years ahead.
The plan would also recover unused COVID relief money.
Plus, it would target the IRS and rescind nearly $71 billion from the agency.
And the bill would block student loan relief, repealing Biden’s move to waive $10,000-20,000 for nearly all borrowers.
Republicans blame Biden and Capitol Hill Democrats for America’s economic problems.
“Under the effects of the $10 trillion in spending over the last two years, $6 trillion added to the national debt, record inflation, soaring interest rates and a nosedive into recession,” said Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX).
In turn, Democrats are attacking the GOP for a possible downturn ahead.
“Every minute wasted on Speaker McCarthy’s empty gesture is the minute we get closer to default and Republican-manufactured recession,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA).
The Democrat-controlled Senate is not expected to take up the bill.
“Let me be clear, Democrats cannot and will not allow Republicans DOA Act to ever become law,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
In an interview with CBN’s Faithwire, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said Washington is going to have to figure out how to rein in more spending.
“There’s no family in the country who would intentionally — albeit some do — but who would intentionally spend more money than you’re bringing in for 40 years in a row,” said Scott.
Now, all eyes are on Biden who wants an increase in the debt ceiling but has so far refused to negotiate.
“I’m happy to meet with McCarthy, but not on whether or not the debt limit gets extended,” Biden told reporters before the bill passed. “That’s not negotiable.”
House Republicans say they’ve done their job by passing a measure to lift the debt ceiling. Now, the focus is on Senate Democrats and Biden to see how they respond.
The U.S. national debt now stands at $31.7 trillion. You can see the U.S. Debt Clock here.