House Republicans passed a bill package to raise the debt limit through early next year while deeply reducing government spending, setting up a contentious standoff with Democrats as the bill heads to the Senate.
The legislation, called the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, passed 217 to 215 with no Democrat support. Reps. Andy Biggs, Matt Gaetz, Tim Burchett, and Ken Buck defected.
The passage is a victory for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who touts the bill as a negotiating tool that forces President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer into talks with him on spending cuts in exchange for a debt limit increase.
“We cannot sit back and ignore the problem like the president has,” McCarthy stated. “We want to sit down. We want to work together, and that’s exactly what this bill does, to put us in an ability to negotiate.”
The bill comes in response to the U.S. approaching its debt ceiling as early as this summer. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen has warned of an ‘economic catastrophe’ if Congress and Biden do not move to suspend or increase the nation’s borrowing limit.
Biden and Schumer have been angling for a “clean” debt ceiling hike, meaning they want to raise it without the spending reductions House Republicans are aiming for.
Republicans’ current proposal, the Limit, Save, Grow Act, would save $4.8 trillion over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Biden, who has vowed to veto the bill, taunted House Republicans hours ahead of its passage when asked about GOP criticisms that the president has been “missing in action” on negotiations.
“They haven’t figured out the debt limit yet,” Biden said laughing, adding, “I’m happy to meet with McCarthy, but not on whether or not the debt limit gets extended. That’s not negotiable.”
Passage of this bill, a significant feat for Republicans in the narrowly divided House, weakens Biden’s and Schumer’s positions, however, now that the House GOP is staring them down with a show of unity around a debt limit plan.
The package, which raises the debt ceiling through early next year, is packed with conservative priorities.
Share your thoughts by scrolling down to leave a comment.