May 31, 2023 at 11:15 p.m.

Congress Passes Debt Ceiling Deal

The Fiscal Responsibility Act will avoid another debt ceiling crisis for two years
Congress Passes Debt Ceiling Deal
Congress Passes Debt Ceiling Deal

Lincoln Herald Staff- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

 

Relax, grandpa! Your Social Security check for June will be coming. For younger readers, you can also relax; the potentially catastrophic result of a 'no' vote--the US Government defaulting on loans--will likely be avoided and also the disastrous effect of that on the stock market and your 401K.

The US House of Representatives voted to pass Speaker Kevin McCarthy's debt ceiling deal with President Joe Biden Wednesday evening (May 31st) by a 314-117 vote. On Thursday, the bill was passed by the US Senate and will now be signed by President Biden ahead of Monday’s deadline to act to avoid what many said would be an economic disaster if the US defaulted on its loans.

The vote was a major test for McCarthy, who faced criticism from some far-right GOP representatives. Some of those Republicans had trashed the agreement, but the bill passed with bipartisan support after it cleared a key procedural vote earlier in the day. 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against the measure.

10th District Congressman Patrick McHenry not only voted 'yes,' he spoke in favor of the measure before the vote.

Following passage, McHenry said, “This is the most conservative spending bill during my time in Congress and I was proud to support it. The Fiscal Responsibility Act is the largest deficit-reduction bill in at least a decade and will fundamentally change the spending trajectory in Washington.

“For the first time in a debt-limit negotiation, the US government will spend less money than it did the year before. We achieved historic spending cuts that will help bring down inflation, consequential reforms to help Americans get out of poverty and back into the workforce, claw backs of billions of dollars of COVID money, and transformational permitting reforms that cut red tape for energy and infrastructure projects."

14th district Congressman Jeff Jackson also voted in favor of the bill. Only one of North Carolina's 14 representatives voted 'no'--that was Republican Dan Bishop, who represents the 8th district, which is located east of Charlotte and includes Union, Rowan, Stanly, Anson, Montgomery, and Davidson counties as well as parts of Cabarrus and Richmond.

North Carolina Senator Ted Budd voted 'no' on the measure, while Thom Tillis voted with the majority in the Senate.  While he wasn't as enthusiastic as Congressman McHenry, Tillis defended his vote, calling the measure 'the best we could do.'  Tillis explained, “While far from perfect, this is the best deal conservatives could have hoped for given the reality that Democrats control the White House and Senate. This deal finally puts an end to the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree by cutting spending by a record $1.5 trillion, moving more Americans from welfare to the workforce, and shutting down President Biden’s planned $5 trillion tax hike. This is a far better outcome than the alternative: defaulting for the first time in our nation’s history, a catastrophe that would have decimated our economy, caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, and made our debt crisis far worse.”

Budd said of his vote: "Throughout this process, I have said that we should only raise the debt ceiling if we fix Washington’s spending addiction. Unfortunately, this bill fails to do that. The bill normalizes pandemic-era spending levels, greenlights trillions more, and retains the vast majority of President Biden’s IRS expansion. While I respect Speaker McCarthy’s efforts to force President Biden to the negotiating table, this final product does not fundamentally alter our country’s disastrous fiscal path."

Donald Trump, the leading GOP candidate for President, had said earlier in the month that Republican lawmakers should let the United States default on its debt if Democrats didn’t agree to spending cuts.



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