The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, predicted this Sunday that the majority of his fellow Republicans will support the agreement to raise the debt ceiling of 31.4 trillion dollars that he negotiated with the president over the weekend. Joe Biden.
Hours later, the Democratic president said he was confident that the legislation would be approved by both houses of Congress to avoid a default by the US government. When asked if there were any obstacles, the president replied: “None.”
“I’m about to go in to talk to McCarthy now at three to make sure all the i’s are dotted. I think we’re in good shape,” Biden told reporters upon his return to the White House.
After weeks of negotiations, McCarthy and Biden reached a tentative deal late on Saturday, but now they face the challenge of getting the deal passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate before of June 5.
Biden and McCarthy were scheduled to speak late this Sunday to finalize the deal, which has drawn criticism from hardline Republicans and progressive Democrats. House Republicans were scheduled to introduce legislation on Sunday to approve the deal.
The White House had planned to brief Senate Democrats at 6:30 p.m. local time.
As Democratic and Republican negotiators iron out the final details of the deal, McCarthy may be forced to do some behind-the-scenes dealings.
“We’re going to try” to stop it from passing the House, Rep. Chip Roy, a leading member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, said on Twitter.
Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate criticized the terms and the new conditions of the agreement.
If Congress fails to reach an agreement on the debt ceiling by June 5, it could trigger a default that would rock financial markets and plunge the United States into a deep recession.
Republicans control the House of Representatives by 222 votes in favor and 213 against, while Democrats control the Senate by votes 51 in favor and 49 against.
The margins mean that moderates on both sides will have to support the bill, as any compromise will almost certainly lose the support of the far-left and far-right wings of each party.
To win the House presidency, McCarthy agreed to allow any member to ask for a vote to unseat him, which could lead to his removal if he tries to work with Democrats.
Roy complained on Twitter Sunday that the deal would leave intact an expansion of the Internal Revenue Service established when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.
The deal suspends the debt ceiling until January 2025, after the November 2024 presidential election, in exchange for spending caps and cuts in government programs.
Rep. Dan Bishop and other hardline Republicans strongly criticized the early details of the deal, which suggest Biden successfully rebuffed several spending-cutting demands on Saturday, signaling McCarthy may have trouble getting votes.
“There’s a total surrender on the side that’s holding the cards,” Bishop said.
Progressive Democrats in both chambers have said they will not support any deal that includes more job requirements for welfare benefits. This agreement does so, according to sources, by adding work requirements to food aid for people between the ages of 50 and 54.