House Approves Debt Ceiling Deal

Measure to avoid default now goes to the Senate, where it's expected to pass by week's end
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2023 7:35 PM CDT
Updated May 31, 2023 8:38 PM CDT
Parties Blame Each Other as House Debates Debt Bill
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries leaves after talking to reporters Wednesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
UPDATE May 31, 2023 8:38 PM CDT

It appears the US will not default on its debt for the first time in history. The House Wednesday night approved the deal worked out between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden to raise the debt ceiling for two years, reports the AP. It now goes to the Senate, where passage is expected by the end of the week—ahead of the June 5 deadline in which the US was to run out of money to pay its bills. The bipartisan vote was 314-117.

May 31, 2023 7:35 PM CDT

The House opened debate on the deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling Wednesday evening, with leaders of both parties ripping the other. The bill was scheduled for a vote when debate is cut off. Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries praised his members for blocking "extreme MAGA Republican efforts to jam right-wing cuts down the throat of the American people," the New York Times reports. And he said it was Democrats who, in committee, ensured the bill was pushed through to the House floor. Jeffries told leaders of the chamber's majority party that "it appears you may have lost control of the floor of the House of Representatives."

GOP Rep. Garret Graves said the bill provides the largest spending cuts in US history, a claim Speaker Kevin McCarthy repeated several times when it was his turn. Even limiting the comparison to debt ceiling bills, the 2011 measure was rated at cutting $2.1 trillion in cuts, while this one slashes $1.3 trillion, the Times points out. McCarthy said President Biden kept stalling on negotiating with the speaker. "Tonight, we're going to give America hope," the Republican speaker said on the floor. If the bill passes the House, it will move to the Senate, which also be operating under the estimated June 5 deadline. (More debt ceiling stories.)

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