The Senate voted Thursday evening to pass the debt ceiling legislation, clearing the way for President Joe Biden to sign it into law.
The House voted on Wednesday evening to pass the debt ceiling bill, 314-117, with some of the House’s most conservative Republicans opposing it as not going far enough to establish fiscal discipline. A total of 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats voted for the legislation, while 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against it. Another four House members didn’t vote.
Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reached a deal Saturday after weeks of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.
The 99-page bill, called the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, would rescind roughly $30 billion of unspent COVID-19 relief funds; completely fund veterans’ medical care as proposed in the president’s budget for fiscal year 2024, and end the COVID-19-era pause in repaying student loans in late August, The Associated Press reported.
Following its passage in the Senate, the legislation will now head to the president’s desk.
Heritage Action for America, the grassroots advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation, opposed the new legislation resulting from the Biden-McCarthy deal.
“This deal does not meet the moment, and it does not address the root problems that have led to nearly $32 trillion in national debt,” Heritage Action said in a written statement. “As members of Congress continue the fight to rein in Washington’s spending addiction and prevent the country’s fiscal ruin, we remain committed to finding solutions to once and for all bend the spending curve down.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen set June 5 as the deadline for lawmakers to act in follow-up letters dated Friday to McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“Since January, I have highlighted to you the risk that Treasury would be unable to satisfy all of our obligations by early June if Congress did not raise or suspend the debt limit before that time,” Yellen wrote. “In my letters, I also noted that I would continue to update Congress as more information became available.”
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