The elected members of the House of Representatives adopted on Wednesday, by a large majority, the text aimed at raising the debt ceiling, and thus banishing the specter of a US default on its debts, which would have dire consequences for the state. American and global economy.
It must now be adopted by the Senate, which must decide quickly Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed just earlier in the day that he would introduce it “as quickly as possible” so that “we avoid default.”
In a statement, Joe Biden called the vote “a fundamental step forward in preventing defaults for the first time ever.” According to the Democratic president, this result was obtained thanks to a “compromise between the two parties.”
For his part, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, for his part, estimated during a press conference that this vote “put the American citizen as a priority” by realizing what “a previous mandate has not worked so far”: cutting federal spending.
“Tonight’s vote passed the largest budget cuts in American history,” he insisted.
The result of marathon negotiations and tearing with tongs over the Memorial Day weekend, the text must above all make it possible to avoid the worst: that the country’s coffers find themselves dry next Monday, and then risk bringing the United States home. Default.
It was in order to avoid this scenario with potentially catastrophic repercussions for the economy that MM Biden and McCarthy entered into an agreement, which, like any compromise, did not fully satisfy anyone.
“No camp got everything it wanted,” Joe Biden summed up after the text was adopted.
Kevin McCarthy had realized before the vote that he would not be full of votes in his camp, while he had expressed optimism.
And with good reason, Democratic leaders, despite being forced to change the federal budget, have vowed to bring in votes that may be missing from this provision.
House Democrats will ensure that the state does not default. “One point, that’s it,” said their leader Hakeem Jeffries.
The promise has been kept since the bill received 314 votes in favor, 165 Democrats and 149 Republicans, while 117 elected officials opposed it, 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats.
However, in both camps, many voices declared that they would not vote in favor of the text.
Among Republicans, the main criticism comes from the Trumpian wing, which has called for more spending cuts. Consequently, elected Texas Representative Chip Roy criticized a “bad deal,” as “no Republican should vote.”
Some members of their group are even considering a motion of no confidence to force Kevin McCarthy out of the game. The motion can be submitted by one elected representative.
More moderate votes, such as those of South Carolina’s elected official Nancy Mays, were also missing. “This + agreement + formalizes the record level of federal spending reached during the pandemic and makes it the basis for future spending,” she slammed before the vote.
On the Democratic side, left-wing elected officials such as Pramila Jayapal and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refused to support the text “imposed” in their view by the Republicans.
The bill suspends the debt ceiling until 2025, that is, after the presidential elections at the end of 2024.
In turn, some expenditures will be limited in order to keep them stable, except for military expenditures, in 2024 and increase by 1%, excluding inflation, in 2025.
It also provides for a $10 billion cut in funds for tax services to modernize and strengthen controls.
McCarthy’s office also said the deal provides for recovery of “billions of dollars in unspent Covid funds” during the pandemic, without elaborating.
A major point of contention, the compromise includes changes to the conditions imposed for benefiting from some social assistance: It increases from 49 to 54 the age at which childless adults must work to receive food assistance, but it removes that obligation to work for veterans and the homeless.
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