Senate Approves Measure to Increase Government Borrowing Limit in Late Night Vote; Biden To Sign

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/02/2023
Late on Thursday night, the Senate voted to accept the measure that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Joe Biden had negotiated to increase the government's borrowing limit.

A 63-36 majority was required to pass the law. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont cast the lone "no" vote, joining four Democrats, 31 Republicans, and one Independent.

Despite opposition from both Republican and Democratic senators, Biden will now consider the plan. Senators from both parties, nevertheless, disapproved of the overall accord. Republicans expressed worries over the Pentagon's spending levels, saying they were insufficient. The Left was against the National Environmental Policy Act amendments, the approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas project, and the additional job requirements for elderly Americans in the food assistance program.

Democrats and Republicans soon came to an understanding, though, and the law was a victory for both parties. Republicans were successful in cutting government expenditure and enacting significant policy reforms. Democrats might claim that the majority of domestic programs were saved from drastic cuts by maintaining recent laws on renewable energy, healthcare, and infrastructure.

After weeks of contentious discussions between McCarthy and Biden, House Republicans sent the measure on Wednesday in a 314-117 vote that was both partisan and pro-business.

The bipartisan deal suspends the debt ceiling without a restriction until January 1, 2025, reduces non-defense expenditure to fiscal 2022 levels, restricts spending increases at 1% in the next year, and establishes optional limitations for the following four years. 

The measure came under criticism before Thursday's vote. If Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would not agree to a supplementary defence funding measure to increase expenditure, despite it diminishing the savings Republicans expected to accomplish as the result of the arrangement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threatened to block the bill through Monday's June 5 deadline. 

I can't believe you did this, my House colleagues, Graham remarked. "To the Speaker: I recognize the difficulty of your position. I enjoy you. However, Ronald Reagan's party is in decline. Don't tell me the military is properly funded with a defence budget that is $42 billion below inflation.

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