The House of Representatives voted 217-215 Wednesday to approve a broad debt ceiling package, moving a contentious compromise bill to its next step in the Senate.
President Joe Biden has threatened to veto the bill, which has been championed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as a compromise that makes spending cuts to cover payments for the national debt. McCarthy hopes that uniting GOP support for the bill will push President Biden to the negotiating table.
The White House has called the terms and conditions Republicans have attached to the spending increase “hostage taking.”
The House Rules Committee was making final changes to the bill at 2 a.m. on Wednesday. GOP House members kept recently-added biofuels tax credits in place, and added stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients. The bill would end student debt cancellation efforts and expand fossil fuel production.
The bill proposes keeping federal spending rates at 2022 levels, and limits increases to 1% a year for the next decade.
But Democrats want the debt ceiling and federal spending to be separate issues.
“Discussion of spending cuts belongs in talks about the budget, not for bargaining chips on the debt ceiling. The Speaker should drop the brinkmanship, drop the hostage taking, come to the table with Democrats to pass a clean bill to avoid default,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Time is running out.”
The bill is not expected to have the support it needs to pass in the Senate.
Funding at the Treasury to pay the national debt will run out this summer, if no bill is agreed upon in Congress.
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