WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have reached an “agreement in principle” to raise the debt ceiling and cap federal spending, The Washington Post reported.
This comes as an important step toward preventing a government default that could be nine days away.
According to The Washington Post, the new blueprint lifts the legal maximum that the nation may borrow to pay its Bills until 2025. It also essentially freezes domestic spending and institutes new work requirements on some Americans who nutrition assistance from the federal government, according to a person familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity to describe the sensitive talks.
Some contours of the emerging deal reflect Republicans’ initial demands after party lawmakers assumed control of the House in January and plotted a strategy to leverage the debt ceiling to achieve their policy agenda, ignoring repeated warnings that their brinkmanship could plunge the country into a recession. McCarthy is expected to brief his party members on a conference call at 9:30 pm.
Before Biden and McCarthy unveiled their plan, some Democrats and Republicans had already started to condemn its size and scope, underscoring the difficult task the two leaders faced to muscle legislation through the pitfall-prone, narrowly divided House and Senate with roughly a week to spare.
Conservatives on Saturday appeared on the verge of revolt, with some faulting McCarthy for failing to extract the same level of spending cuts that the GOP-led House adopted last month with no Democratic support. On Saturday, the far-right House Freedom Caucus tweeted that the initial reports of the deal were “unacceptable,” and one member, Representative Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), predicted it could mean “war”, as per The Washington Post.
Democrats, meanwhile, at times have offered rare, public criticism of their own president over the past week, questioning whether Biden might have given up too much in discussions that he never should have entertained in the first place. (ANI)