Republicans blast debt ceiling deal: ‘Bad news’
The bill's deadline is June 5
Just a day after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy released the text of his compromised deal to prevent a national default, Republicans in and out of Congress were already at odds over the agreement struck between House negotiators and President Biden.
The "agreement in principle" to do away with the debt limit until at least 2025 in exchange for nominal cuts to the IRS and a slight alteration of who might qualify for food subsidies championed by McCarthy is apparently not what some Republicans were envisioning when they sent their tenuously appointed speaker to make a deal with Biden.
"This #debtceiling ‘deal' is uncapped — set to expire subject to (Treasury Secretary Janet) Yellen's discretion… wait for it… in a lame duck (1/1/2025) guaranteed to still have a Dem Senate & Biden White House," Texas Rep. Chip Roy said via Twitter.
Roy followed that with a not-so-subtle warning to McCarthy of just how loose the alliance he built to gain the speaker's gavel really is.
"A reminder that during Speaker negotiations to build the coalition, that it was explicit both that nothing would pass Rules Committee without at least 7 GOP votes — and that the Committee would not allow reporting out rules without unanimous Republican votes," Roy wrote.
Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance seemed uncertain of what McCarthy had achieved over weeks of negotiations on behalf on the party.
"The more I learn about this debt ceiling deal, the more I think it's bad news," he told his followers. "Deficit reduction isn't even my most important issue. But we didn't get permitting reform. We didn't get border security. It's not entirely clear we got anything."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, now Utah's junior senator, presented the exact opposite response, calling for the "good-faith bipartisan compromise" to clear Congress and make its way to Biden's desk "in the coming days."
"This deal is good for the country in that it prevents a default subsequent financial meltdown, while also limiting spending. In addition, House leadership successfully fought for conservative priorities like work requirements for TANF and SNAP, and reduced permitting timelines," he said in a statement.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is currently polling second in the race for the Republican nod toward the White House, joined Fox News Monday morning to blast the deal and Washington politics in general.
"Prior to this deal, our country was careening toward bankruptcy," DeSantis said. "After this deal our country will still be careening toward bankruptcy and to say you can do $4 trillion of increases in the next year and a half, I mean, that's a massive amount of spending."
"I think we've gotten ourselves on a trajectory here, really since March of 2020 with some of the COVID
spending, it totally reset the budget and they're sticking with that," he said.
The deal, in addition to removing the debt ceiling until well after the 2024 presidential election, would also keep non-defense spending roughly the same as now through the next fiscal year and increase spending by just 1% in the following year.
The bill claws back about $30 billion in unspent COVID funds and $1.4 billion in funding from the Internal
The legislation expands age determined work requirements for able bodied adults receiving SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, by five years to age 54, though that provision will sunset in 2030.
The bill also ends the pause on student loan payments, which has been in place the entirety of the Biden administration, though not until after June when the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the legality of the student loan forgiveness program behind the forbearance.
McCarthy returned to Washington D.C. on Monday ahead of an expected Rules Committee vote on the bill Tuesday afternoon.
The "agreement in principle" still must clear the full House and Senate before it can see Biden's signature. If the bill isn't passed by June 5, Yellen said last week, the country will default on its debts for the first time in history.