House of Representatives Votes to Halt US Default on Debt

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/01/2023
The US was about to default on its debt until the House of Representatives just took a crucial step to stop it. By a vote of 314-117 on Wednesday night, the House approved President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's plan, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would have suspended the debt ceiling until January 1, 2025. To get here was a difficult journey by no means. McCarthy and Biden have been arguing for months over how to handle the debt ceiling situation. 

While Biden was determined that increasing the debt ceiling should be a clean and bipartisan arrangement without any spending cuts attached, McCarthy approved a package in the House last month to raise the debt ceiling until March 2023 along with $4.5 trillion in expenditure cutbacks.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the measures in Biden and McCarthy's plan, which enshrine the end of the student loan payment freeze and add additional work requirements to government programs like SNAP, will reduce expenditure by at least $1.5 trillion.

"This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy," Biden said in a statement following its approval. It safeguards important goals and achievements from the previous two years, such as significant investments that are generating quality employment all around the nation. Additionally, it fulfills my promise to defend Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as the health care of Americans. It safeguards vital initiatives on which millions of striving families, students, and veterans rely.

The likelihood that the bill will pass the House wasn't immediately apparent. Shortly after the document was made public, it faced criticism from both parties; some Democratic politicians disapproved of the deal's expenditure reductions, while conservative lawmakers wished for further budget cutbacks across a wider range of federal services. Now that the bill is moving to the Senate, there is some opposition to it there as well.

Elizabeth Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, told reporters on Tuesday that she had "real concerns" about a bill that was "designed to take food away from hungry people, to make students who are struggling with debt lock in to pay more, to slow down our efforts in the fight against climate change, and to help out wealthy tax cheats." "Our economy and our reputation abroad are hostages of the Republicans. Democrats are compelled to assume the position of the adults in the room.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have already endorsed the measure in an effort to persuade lawmakers from their respective parties to approve it.

The deal between President Biden and Speaker McCarthy will save the economy and remove the risk of a disastrous default. I agree with both sides of this debate. Nobody gets everything they want, but it eliminates default and safeguards significant investments we've made, according to Schumer's tweet from Tuesday.

McCarthy "and House Republicans secured a crucial first step toward bringing Washington Democrats' reckless spending to heel," McConnell added in his letter. Their solidarity made President Biden perform his duties. It will soon be the Senate's chance to approve this crucial accord.

Before the US might default as early as June 5, Congress must move swiftly to enact the bill and deliver it to Biden. 

On Wednesday, Schumer stated that senators "should be ready to move quickly on this bill once it is the Senate's turn to act." I can't stress this enough: There is no room for error.

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