Debt Ceiling Bill Passes

Debt Ceiling
U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) walks from his office to the House floor at the U.S. Capitol ahead of Wednesday's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bill raising the federal government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, in Washington, U.S., May 31, 2023. | Image by Julia Nikhinson/REUTERS

The U.S. House managed to pass the debt ceiling bill Wednesday evening, even after conservative Republicans threatened to derail the deal.

The final tally was 314-117, with 165 Democrats and 149 Republicans voting in favor. The Freedom Caucus only managed to get 71 Republicans to vote against the bill, while Democrats saw 46 members vote nay.

“This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy,” President Joe Biden said following the vote, per Reuters. “I urge the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible so that I can sign it into law.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his negotiation team struck a deal with the Biden administration on Saturday, but the bill encountered strong opposition from a group of House Republicans led by Chip Roy (R-TX).

The threat culminated Wednesday with obstinate Republicans trying to use rules governing the debate of the bill to prevent it from going before the whole House for a vote, where McCarthy was likely to have the votes to pass it. However, the effort failed as Democrats joined Republicans who support the proposed legislation to pass a procedural hurdle with a 241-187 vote, clearing the way for the Wednesday evening vote, as reported by The Hill.

An earlier attempt on Tuesday by some Republicans to stop the bill in the Rules Committee failed when Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY), usually a solid backer of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, threw his support behind the bill that he helped negotiate and draft, allowing it to pass through the committee over his Republican colleagues’ objections.

Conservative Republicans were not the only ones posing obstacles to the compromise package. Left-wing and progressive Democrats like Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Greg Casar (D-TX), and Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) all opposed the bill because of the restrictions it would allegedly place on taxpayer-funded welfare programs and what they perceived as too many concessions to Republican demands.

“I won’t vote for a bill that makes it harder for my constituents to access programs like SNAP and TANF. I won’t vote for a fossil fuel handout when many communities in my district know the brutal consequences of environmental injustice. I cannot support a bill that blocks necessary infrastructure investments, worsens housing instability, and takes away resources to support immigrant and mixed-status families,” García said in a statement Wednesday explaining why he would vote against the bill.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where both Republican and Democratic leaders hope to see it pass within 48 hours, according to CNBC.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *