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President Biden and President McCarthy’s debt limit trashed by left and right

President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s agreement to raise the debt ceiling until after the 2024 election has both Republicans and Democrats on edge.

Conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus oppose the deal, saying it does not cut spending enough. Progressive Democrats, meanwhile, say the deal’s social work requirements are too drastic.

“He’s not getting everything everybody wanted, but that’s how it is in a divided government,” said McCarthy, a Republican from California. “This is where we meet. I think this is a very positive bill.

The deal would increase the current debt limit by $31.4 trillion until after the 2024 presidential election. It would recover more than $60 billion in unspent coronavirus relief and cut $10 billion from the ‘IRS.

Domestic spending would remain unchanged for the coming fiscal year, while defense spending is expected to increase by more than $26 billion. After this year, federal spending growth would be capped at 1% through 2025.

House Republicans say federal spending growth is effectively capped at six years, but the agreement’s spending targets don’t apply after 2025.

SEE ALSO: McCarthy sells debt limitation deal as Tories fume: ‘We were finally able to cut spending’

“There’s nothing you can do that binds the next Congress,” said Rep. Garret Graves, Republican of Louisiana.

Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Biden further agreed to streamline the federal permitting process for new energy projects. The deal includes a pay-as-you-go provision requiring Mr. Biden to offset any rules or regulations that increase federal spending.

The agreement would expand work requirements for recipients of food stamps and direct cash payments. Able-bodied, childless recipients of both programs under the age of 54 would be required to work at least 20 hours a week to maintain their benefits. Work requirements will expire in 2030.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called the work demands “terrible politics.”

“Work requirements are bad policy. They don’t cut spending, they create administrative burdens and they just don’t work,” said Ms. Jayapal, Democrat of Washington. “The fact that this is a GOP priority is cruel, and every American should know what they’re trying to do to poor, working families.”

As part of the agreement, childless food stamp recipients would be subject to new time restrictions for how long they can participate in the program. The agreement expands access to food stamps for veterans and the homeless.

SEE ALSO: A ‘victory for the whole country’, Republicans tout energy permit rules in debt relief deal

This represents a compromise for Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Biden. House Republicans had originally called for a $130 billion cut in non-defense spending this year and a decade of spending caps.

Mr. McCarthy had also sought to reverse Mr. Biden’s student loan forgiveness program and reverse more than $200 billion in green energy tax credits passed by Democrats last year. Both requests were dismissed in the face of opposition from the White House.

“The deal protects my top legislative priorities and accomplishments and those of congressional Democrats,” Biden said.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus say that is exactly the problem.

“Our base hasn’t volunteered, knocked on the door, and fought so hard to get a majority for this kind of compromise deal with Joe Biden,” Rep. Lauren said. Boebert, Colorado Republican. “Our voters deserve better than this. We work for them. You can count me out as no on this deal.

During an appearance on ‘Fox News Sunday’, Mr McCarthy brushed off criticism.

“Right now, Democrats are very upset,” he said. “There’s nothing in the bill for them. There is nothing in the bill for Democrats.

Mr McCarthy said “over 95%” of the House Republican Conference are excited about the deal. This claim has been strongly contested by hardline conservatives.

“RINOS congratulating McCarthy for almost zippo in exchange for [a] Raising the $4 trillion debt ceiling was enough to make you [sick]said Representative Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina.

Representative Chip Roy, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said the conservative opposition would only swell as lawmakers consider the deal. Mr McCarthy promised the bill would be public for 72 hours before a vote is cast in the House.

“They haven’t been educated yet on what a turd sandwich this deal is,” said Mr. Roy, a Republican from Texas. “They will be.”

Opposition from the Freedom Caucus may prove insurmountable. Given the narrow Republican majority in the House, Mr. McCarthy can only lose four GOP lawmakers on a single vote before having to rely on the Democrats.

Mr McCarthy said he was confident a majority of House Republicans would support the deal. He also predicted that most House Democrats would follow Mr. Biden’s pleas to back the deal.

However, at least one moderate Democrat is publicly unsold on the package. Representative Jim Himes said on “Fox News Sunday” that the whole deal was the result of “corrupt business”.

“I haven’t made up my mind,” said Connecticut Democrat Mr. Himes. “It’s not a bill that will make Democrats happy, but it’s a small enough bill that, in the service of not destroying the economy this week, could get Democratic votes.”

Failing the deal in the House isn’t the only danger Mr. McCarthy faces.

The Freedom Caucus almost rejected Mr. McCarthy’s candidacy for president this year. In exchange for allowing Mr. McCarthy to rise, the Conservatives imposed a set of rules that decentralized the power of the Congress leadership.

The crux of the overhaul hinges on a provision allowing any lawmaker to force a vote on whether to keep the speaker. Tory opposition to the debt limit deal has raised questions about whether Mr McCarthy will be ousted over it.

Mr McCarthy, for his part, said he was not worried about the prospect.


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