A bill to cut federal spending by more than $1 trillion and raise the debt ceiling by the 2024 presidential election was tabled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, just days before a possible first-ever federal debt default.
While stubborn Republican lawmakers threatened Tuesday with an attempt to undermine the billParty leaders expressed optimism that there would be enough votes from both parties to pass it.
“This is a win for the American people and for future generations,” said House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) after a more than two-hour party session in the US Capitol.
“I think we’re going to do well on the votes,” said Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.).
The referee The Congressional Budget Office said the bill would save about $1.5 trillion over 11 years, through 2033, with about $1.3 trillion coming from annual funding caps from federal agencies and programs over the next two years, and the remainder of the savings coming from lower interest payments.
This is well below the approximate value The Treasury Department is expected to raise $3 trillion in new loans however, until January 2025. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been juggling accounts to stay below the current limit of $31.38 trillion, but said The Ministry of Finance is already threatening a default on Monday without action.
The bill, crafted after weeks of talks between Republican negotiators in the House and White House, would suspend the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025, and ensure they are not raised again until after the 2024 presidential election, a white victory must house.
But the Republicans also recorded some political successes for their side. They said Biden’s agreement to any terms after he said he would not negotiate the debt limit was a victory.
The bill would also relax permitting restrictions on energy-related projects, require the administration to offset the cost of key regulations it enacts, and take back $27 billion in COVID-related budget powers that haven’t been used.
“This is a win for the American people and future generations.”
– Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.)
But another GOP priority, tightening labor requirements for recipients of federal food aid, caught lawmakers by surprise. The CBO said that expanding the age range of work-force recipients would reduce the number of recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program not sufficient to offset the number of additional new recipients eligible for the program within guidelines established at the request of the White House.
The CBO said the new eligibility requirements for homeless and veterans caused SNAP rolls to rise slightly by 0.2%. Rep. GT Thompson (R-Pa.) said the CBO made a mistake and overcounted how many people would be newly eligible.
Though many Republican lawmakers expected the SNAP regulations would cut welfare numbers and bring more workers into the workforce, the CBO score could allay Democrat concerns on the issue.
The bill needs 218 votes to pass the House of Representatives. House Democrat Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) told reporters he expected the GOP to bring 150 of these. It is unclear how support will be distributed among the parties.
When asked if 150 Republican votes for a debt-limit bill were realistic given the migration of GOP hardliners, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) said it was “quite possible.”