President Joe Biden said he is “very pleased” with the budget and debt ceiling deal negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as the White House and congressional leaders worked to pass it this Friday . A catastrophic federal default.
Biden spent part of the holiday weekend working the phone, calling lawmakers from both parties to help win votes.
Many right-wing conservatives criticized the deal for failing to provide deep spending cuts, while liberals questioned policy changes such as new work requirements for older Americans enrolled in the food assistance plan.
The moment of truth will come Tuesday afternoon, when the House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet to study the package and vote on sending it to the full House for a vote Wednesday.
“I’m very pleased with the deal,” Biden told reporters on Monday after leaving Washington for his home in Delaware.
“I’ve talked to many members,” he said, including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who has been a key ally in bipartisan deals in the past but has been virtually sidelined this time. “I’ve talked to a lot of people, and it sounds good.”
For progressive Democrats who have objected to the package, the president has a simple message: “Talk to me.”
As lawmakers consider the 99-page bill, few are expected to be entirely satisfied with the final product. But Biden, a Democrat, and McCarthy, a Republican, are counting on winning majority support from the political center. It’s not often that a divided Washington comes together to avoid a catastrophic federal default.
Wall Street will offer its assessment of the deal as early as Tuesday, as US financial markets begin to react as US financial markets close over the weekend.
McCarthy acknowledged that a hard compromise with Biden would be “one that 100% doesn’t want,” as he leads a slim majority in the House campaigned by far-right conservatives.
Given the likely disapproval of their ranks, the Speaker of the House would have to rely on more than half of Democrats and Republicans to approve the debt ceiling package.
Overall, the deal is an agreement that will see some spending cuts over the next two years, as well as a suspension of the debt ceiling until January 2025, leaving this volatile issue until after the next election campaign. Raising the debt ceiling, which now stands at $31 trillion, would allow the Treasury to continue borrowing to pay off state debt already contracted.
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