On Wednesday (May 31) night, the House of Representatives approved a bipartisan bill to raise the debt ceiling, overcoming vocal opposition from both conservative and liberal Lawmakers, moving the country one step closer to avoiding an economy-crushing default before the June 5 deadline.
The legislation, negotiated between President Joe Biden, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.), and their designees, passed by a bipartisan vote of 314 to 117 and now moves to the Senate, where leaders hope for a quick passage of the bill as a looming default deadline.
Treasury Secretary Janet has warned that the U.S. could run out of money to pay its bills by Monday (June 5), triggering the country’s first default – which economists and administration officials have warned would be disastrous for the economy.
Speaking on the House floor, McCarthy touted the passage of the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” as being the “first step for putting America back on track.”
He added that the bill accomplished “what is responsible for our children, what is possible in divided government, and what is required by our principles and promises.”
McCarthy acknowledged that the bill didn’t contain everything that the government needed to do; it did contain what was necessary for the time being.
The bill suspends the debt limit until January 1, 2025, while implementing savings measures, including new spending limits over the next two years and billions of dollars in unused COVID-19 funds.
It also includes entitlement reform, creates an end date for Biden’s student loan repayment pause and increases work requirements for federal aid programs, and repeals the Internal Revenue Service as part of the inflation-reduction bill Democrats passed last summer.