Senate Takes Up Debt Bill

Debt Bill
U.S. Capitol Building | Image by jkiddmedia/Shutterstock

The debt ceiling bill that Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) managed to pass through the House is now with the Senate, and leaders from both parties expressed their intent to expedite its passage in the upper chamber to avoid a government default.

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) took to the Senate floor to address his colleagues.

“Either we proceed quickly and send this bipartisan agreement to the president’s desk, or the federal government will default for the first time ever,” he said, according to The Washington Post.

His counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said he was “proud to support it without delay,” per The Washington Post.

McCarthy expended a great deal of political capital to reach this point, as 71 members of his own party voted against the bill, and more Democrat members supported it than Republicans.

Now, he may face a revolt that could potentially see him ousted from the speakership.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) told Greg Kelly Reports on Thursday, “When we were told about this bill, we were told that there is nothing in this bill for the Democrats. Obviously, they don’t agree with that. They know there’s a lot on this bill for the Democrats or four trillion reasons for Democrats to vote for this bill, and I really think this is a piece of legislation that is going to put Kevin McCarthy at risk.”

In the deal that McCarthy struck with more conservative House members to gain their consent upon ascending to the speakership, McCarthy agreed to abide by a rule requiring no more than one member of Congress to act to force a vote to remove him from the speakership.

As for what’s in the bill, many Republicans think there will be much buyer’s remorse for conservatives.

A key section that appears to mandate increased accountability in order for an administrative body to increase government spending can be waived by the director of that agency per a clause later in the bill. The director is usually a political appointee, effectively making the clause optional, as Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) pointed out in a tweet.

Texas Representative Chip Roy laid out his objections to the bill plainly on the House floor before the bill eventually passed.

He pointed out that the bill has a section on permitting reform that could be positive in theory but, according to the Biden administration, will be utilized to accelerate “implementation of the historic clean and environmental justice investments in the Inflation Reduction Act [of 2022] — the very policies destroying the American way of life and making them unable to afford energy and afford their food.”

He also noted that the bill would only result in a 2% cut in the intensely scrutinized $80 billion to expand the IRS.

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