Biden, House Speaker McCarthy strike tentative debt ceiling deal

Biden, House Speaker McCarthy strike tentative debt ceiling deal

The deal would raise the debt limit for two years in exchange for cutting government spending


President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have struck a tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling on Saturday night, sources close to the talks have said.

The deal to raise the government’s $31 trillion debt ceiling concludes a months-long stalemate between the White House and House Republicans.

The deal would raise the debt limit for two years in exchange for cutting government spending during the same periodaccording to The New York Times.

The tentative deal was revealed following a 90-minute phone call between Biden, who is currently at Camp David, and McCarthy, who is in Washington.

If the deal is approved by Congress, the U.S. deal could avert an economic catastrophe.

Ahead of the deal, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday afternoon the government won’t run out of money until June 5 — four days later than previously expected, relieving some pressure amid tense negotiations.

However, McCarthy must give members 72 hours to review the bill’s final language before calling a vote on it – a three-day delay pushing the U.S. alarmingly closer to defaulting on its debt.

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting on the debt ceiling with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 22, 2023.

Biden said he was “optimistic” about the deal after leaving the White House on Friday. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The 72-hour rule was one of the concessions that conservative holdouts demanded from McCarthy in January in return for the speaker’s gavel.

Tuesday will be the earliest possible House vote — with votes in the Senate to follow days later.

The two sides have to carefully thread the needle in finding a compromise that can clear the House, with a 222-213 Republican majority, and Senate, with a 51-49 Democratic majority.

Biden, who was spending part of the holiday weekend at Camp David, had been in constant talks multiple times a day with his negotiating team.

Before he left the White House Friday, he said he was “optimistic” that a deal was imminent.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters about the debt limit negotiations as he arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, May 26, 2023.

McCarthy needs to give House members 72 hours to review the bill’s final language before calling a vote on it.  AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

During the contentious negotiations, Republicans demanded that any deal must cut federal spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

Both Republicans and Democrats said one of the biggest holdups was the GOP’s efforts to expand existing work requirements for people on food stamps and other federal aid programs.

The GOP proposal would save $11 billion over the next decade by raising the maximum age for existing standards that require able-bodied adults who do not live with dependents to work or attend training programs.

Democrats have staunchly opposed the proposal…


Header featured image (edited) credit:  Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy/Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors



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