Amid some objections, confidence is growing for the approval of the debt ceiling

2023-05-29 18:04:11, Kosova & Bota CNA

Amid some objections, confidence is growing for the approval of the debt ceiling

US lawmakers are mulling over the details of a deal to raise the nation's borrowing limit ahead of a vote expected in the coming days, as President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy urge them to approve it.

The proposal includes lifting the debt ceiling by January 2025 and a two-year budget deal that keeps federal spending unchanged in 2024 and increases it by 1% in 2025.

Among the compromise points are reducing funding to hire new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, canceling $30 billion in COVID-19 aid and ensuring that people ages 49 to 54 meet the requirements for work, to receive food aid.

President Biden and Speaker McCarthy reached the deal Sunday after weeks of negotiations with an early June deadline looming for the government to run out of funds to pay its bills.

"The agreement prevents the worst possible crisis, default, for the first time in the history of our country," said President Biden at the White House. It "takes the threat of catastrophic bankruptcy off the table."

Discussing the deal in the Capitol, Mr. McCarthy said: "At the end of the day, lawmakers can vote together to pass the deal."

While both leaders expressed support for the deal, progressive Democratic lawmakers from the party's ideological left and Republicans from the party's right wing immediately voiced opposition on Sunday.

"The deal is a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. But this is the responsibility of government," President Biden said in a statement. He called the deal "an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone."

Earlier Sunday, Mr. McCarthy, on "Fox News Sunday," said that from a Republican perspective, "There are a lot of positives in this deal. It's going to do everything for everybody, but this is a step in the right direction ".

Amid some objections, confidence is growing for the approval of the debt ceiling

The debt ceiling must be raised so the government can borrow more money, or it will run out of money to pay existing bills on June 5, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned.

Ms. Yellen has said that without an increase in the debt ceiling or a suspension of the borrowing limit, interest on U.S. bonds held by foreign governments and individual U.S. investors would be at risk, as would wages for U.S. retirees and wages for U.S. workers. government and contractors. Without enough tax revenue to pay its bills, the government would be forced to prioritize which payments to make first.

Another part of the deal will also speed up the approval process for new energy projects.

The deal also left in place President Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt, but says loan recipients will have to start making payments that were suspended during the coronavirus pandemic. The provision would become moot if the Supreme Court strikes down President Biden's authority to revoke the debt in a challenge to his action that is expected to be ruled on by the end of June.

Democratic lawmaker Pramila Jayapal, the leader of the 102-member progressive caucus, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that President Biden and Democratic Minority Leader Jeffries should be concerned about progressives' support for passing a debt ceiling increase. .

Ms. Jayapal criticized expanding work requirements for food aid recipients and said she was not sure whether she would vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Among Republicans, Rep. Bob Good tweeted, "Nobody claiming to be a conservative can justify a YES vote" on the package.

Another Republican critic of the deal, lawmaker Ralph Norman, tweeted: "This 'deal' is bullshit." He said a possible $4 trillion increase in the debt over the next two years “with almost no cuts is not what we agreed to. We will not vote for the bankruptcy of our country. The American people deserve better"./ VOA

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