US debt ceiling clears key hurdle in the House
The bill, which will also implement new federal spending cuts, cleared the chamber with 314 votes in favour of the legislation. It now heads to the Senate.
The narrowness of its passage from committee, which saw two Republicans break ranks to oppose it, underscored the need for Democrats to help it pass the House, where Republicans hold a slim majority of 222 to 213.
After 29 Republicans voted against the rules bill, Democrat lawmakers stepped in and added their votes to ensure that hurdle too was overcome.
Full congressional approval is required before Monday 5 June, when the Treasury Department could run out of funds to pay its debts for the first time in American history.
Party leaders have expressed confidence they will get enough votes to prevail but, should they fail, the Treasury might not be able to cover its payments, or be forced to prioritise, triggering economic chaos.
Vote divides California’s Senate candidates
As our correspondent on the ground in the Capitol Wednesday evening points out here, the debt ceiling compromise may become an issue in the California Senate race after two of the leading Democratic candidates voted against the bill — while one, Rep Adam Schiff, supported it.
John Bowden1 June 2023 05:30
Dan Bishop: Say goodbye to a unified GOP caucus
As the reactions roll in following the House’s passage of the debt ceiling hike, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Kevin McCarthy has something to worry about.
“He’s blown Republican unity to smithereens,” said Rep Dan Bishop, a conservative member, of the Speaker. “You can put that in terms of trust… It’s just something that is functionally destroyed.”
John Bowden1 June 2023 05:10
Conservative: My voters want me to oust McCarthy
If Kevin McCarthy is resting on his laurels after Wednesday evening’s vote, he should listen to what House conservatives are saying about his future.
Rep Ken Buck put it plainly to reporters after the debt ceiling compromise passed:
“My constituents are furious and you know what’s so interesting about the calls in the district? They are not only ‘vote against this bill,’ but they are ‘take McCarthy out.’”
John Bowden1 June 2023 04:50
Biden issues statement on deal passage
President Joe Biden released a statement on Wednesday shortly following the passage of his compromise on the debt ceiling with Kevin McCarthy.
“Tonight, the House took a critical step forward to prevent a first-ever default and protect our country’s hard-earned and historic economic recovery. This budget agreement is a bipartisan compromise. Neither side got everything it wanted. That’s the responsibility of governing. I want to thank Speaker McCarthy and his team for negotiating in good faith, as well as Leader Jeffries for his leadership,” said the president.
“This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy. It protects key priorities and accomplishments from the past two years, including historic investments that are creating good jobs across the country. And, it honors my commitment to safeguard Americans’ health care and protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It protects critical programs that millions of hardworking families, students, and veterans count on,” his statement continues.
“I have been clear that the only path forward is a bipartisan compromise that can earn the support of both parties. This agreement meets that test. I urge the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible so that I can sign it into law, and our country can continue building the strongest economy in the world.”
John Bowden1 June 2023 04:30
McCarthy: ‘This is one of the best nights I’ve ever been here’
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy projected an image of a politician on a victory lap at a late-night press conference Wednesday evening following the successful vote, and pledged to bring more funding cuts to the House floor for votes in the days ahead.
John Bowden1 June 2023 04:10
Maxwell Frost comments on debt ceiling after voting for compromise legislation
Rep Maxwell Frost, a freshman congressman from Florida, spoke with The Independent after breaking with some other progressives and voting in favour of the debt ceiling compromise.
“It’s a bill that, yes, it’s gonna it’s going to harm people and that’s unfortunate but the Republicans put us in that situation,” he said.
He further contended that voters would be thinking about the concessions that Mr McCarthy extracted — including permitting reform for fossil fuel projects — come 2024.
John Bowden1 June 2023 03:53
McCarthy snipes at Biden for weeks of stalemate
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy offered a brief comment to reporters after the vote passed Wednesday evening in which he urged Joe Biden to continue to negotiate with Republicans.
“I just hope he doesn’t sit back and ignore people when they want to work with you,” he said.
John Bowden1 June 2023 03:16
Jamaal Bowman: Joe Biden had a ‘gun to his head’
Congressman Jamaal Bowman, one of the progressive Democrats who voted against the debt ceiling compromise legislation Wednesday evening, told The Independent that President Joe Biden and his party faced a “lose-lose situation”.
“Listen, it was a lose-lose situation. He had a gun to his head, the debt ceiling [deadline] in the background…and McCarthy wanted to play politics by holding the global economy hostage. So McCarthy in this entire process was reckless. And yeah, they got some wins but the wins hurt the American people and American people are gonna remember in 2024.”
John Bowden1 June 2023 02:47
Final vote count comes in
The final vote count on the McCarthy-Biden debt ceiling compromise package is in, with more than 300 members of the House of Representatives voting in favour.
In total, 314 members voted for the package, while 117 voted against it.
John Bowden1 June 2023 02:28
Debt ceiling compromise passes easily
Despite predictions from Marjorie Taylor Greene and others, serious opposition to the debt ceiling compromise failed to jeopardise its passage Wednesday night, with the bill passing by a margin in the high double digits.
John Bowden1 June 2023 02:19