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What Republicans Are Saying About the Debt Ceiling Deal

Following Saturday evening’s announcement that a tentative deal had been reached between Republican lawmakers and President Joe Biden, a series of calls were held among House GOP Conference members while additional information on what will constitute the final bill was released.

According to a one-pager circulated to Republican lawmakers, the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” will raise the debt ceiling and thereby avert a default on the nation’s debt and also “cut spending year-over-year, including a rollback of non-defense discretionary spending to FY22 levels” while still fully funding VA medical and capping “topline federal spending to 1% annual growth for the next six years.”

In addition, the Fiscal Responsibility Act will: reform assistance programs to “save taxpayer dollars” and “get Americans back to work” including a 20 hour work week requirement for TANF and SNAP for those under the age of 54; cut $400 million from CDC funding in “the largest total rescissions package in history” of COVID funds; create the “first ever statutory Administrative Pay-Go to hold President Biden accountable for the full cost of executive rules and regulations;” remove red tape to accelerate energy and infrastructure projects; remove the entire FY23 staffing funding request to hire new IRS agents; require student loan repayment; impose a “temporary 99% CR-level cap until all 12 appropriations bills are enacted” to reform the appropriations process; fully fund programs to help veterans and preserve Medicare and Social Security; and reject President Biden’s $5 trillion-worth of proposed tax hikes and federal programs.

That is, most of what Speaker McCarthy had in the House GOP’s Limit, Save, Grow Act sounds like it will still be in-tact in the final package — a clear victory for the House Speaker and another loss for the Biden White House.

That said, it’s still too early for a full-blown victory lap for Republicans as the text of the bill still has yet to be released, and there will no doubt be some last minute attempts from Democrats to bring back some of Biden’s programs and agenda.

Once the text is finished, though, the work is far from over. Respective House and Democrat leaders in both chambers of Congress will need to get their conferences on-board in great enough numbers to actually pass it through the GOP-controlled House led by McCarthy and the Democrat-controlled Senate led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Schumer’s official Twitter has been quiet about the debt limit for days, but House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) has been actively smearing “right-wing extremists” who will “crash the economy” while declaring that his party “will win.”

So, will Democrats fall in line with the tentative deal reached between McCarthy and Biden, or will they try some sort of last stand to defend their party’s tax-and-spend binge that put the U.S. in this position to begin with? Time will tell. If they do, it will still be the Democrats whose antics bring the U.S. closer to a default.

Among Republicans, there sounds to be some lasting healthy skepticism — how many times in previous congresses have conservatives been betrayed at the eleventh hour? — about a final deal being as good as the tentative agreement sounds. But Chad Pergram reported that House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said on a call for House GOP members that if, “for the first time in US history, we’re spending less money” than the year before, “that seems like a pretty darn good deal to me.”

The one House GOP member who, according to Pergram, voiced discontent was Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), who wanted Republicans to push for more concessions from Democrats:

There will be plenty more to pull apart once the bill text is released to see what, if anything, Democrats are getting out of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, whether the details of the tentative agreement are reflected in the final legislation, and what Democrats may try to do at the final moment to upend the deal reached between Biden’s team and Speaker McCarthy.

In the previous Congress, when the House was still controlled by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) there were numerous instances in which attempts to pass Biden-backed legislation fell apart due to a lack of Democrat support, meaning a similar Democrats-in-disarray display could lie ahead for Leader Jeffries. With the House now under Republican control, McCarthy might not even need Democrats to support the final deal, but having every House Democrat vote against a second bill that raises the debt ceiling — at least one of which is supported by Biden — is not great for making the case that Democrats ever wanted to prevent a default. One thing is for sure: next week is going to be one to watch on Capitol Hill.

According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday, the country’s “x-date” for a default is June 5, so congressional leaders will need to get the final text circulating quickly to give members time to read and decide whether they’ll vote for or against the final plan as written, hold the votes in both chambers, and get it to Biden’s desk if he’s to begrudgingly sign it before the deadline.

Lastly, brace yourself for Biden and Democrat attempts to take a victory lap despite being outmaneuvered by McCarthy and Republican lawmakers throughout the process, especially if Democrats agree to the steep cuts, clawed back COVID money, work requirements, and other GOP provisions. If Biden wants to take credit, Karine Jean-Pierre is going to have her work cut out for her after saying the Republican plan would give children asthma and endanger Americans with bone-melting acid. That’s not exactly a measured reaction that’s easy to walk back now.

  • RockyMtn1776 says:

    I say on this issue, if the Republicans cave on this one, neither political party is worth saving.

  • Janznice says:

    I did not see stopping all payment to illegals on the table
    Yes not a word about stopping payments to illegals

  • Rich...... says:

    It takes real balls and a very bad impression on what you can sell the American people to call this piece of shit negotiation a “victory”.

    Hell….they didn’t even address the problem….they just kicked the whole damned can down the road like career politicians have been doing for decades……as the problem just gets bigger and harder to kick every time.

    We all know that this compromise is so vaguely written in fluent politician that it is meaningless and both parties will simply ignore it or tapdance around it the day after it is signed.

    These self serving, gutless, inept and corrupt people we have trying to run the government care NOTHING for us or the nation. It is all about getting re-elected into the position of power….nothing more.

    When are we going to learn and oust each and every one of them…..from both sides of the political spectrum???

  • I thought NANCY was gone says:

    Not one word about the J 6ers illegally incarcerated in DC. FK JB and FK KM. It’s all about the fkg money. This is what we have in DC. MONEY GRUBBING ELITE SOAB’S. ITS OK. AMERICANS ARE GONA GET AT THESE POLITICIANS. BY GOD ITS TIME TO TAKE THEM OUT. NOT VOTE OUT’ TAKE DOWN.

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