The US debt battle begins another chapter on Capitol Hill

The US debt battle begins another chapter on Capitol Hill

Washington – A principle of agreement to avoid a catastrophic default of the United States reached after marathon negotiations faces from this Sunday the challenge of obtaining the approval of the Congress.

Although the tentative deal announced Saturday by President Joe Biden and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy steered the country back from the economic brink, their compromises have not guaranteed the support needed for speedy passage in the (Lower) House of Representatives and the Senate.

“I am about to call Mr. McCarthy at 3:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT) so that everything is framed and that the points are on the i’s…”, said the US president in the afternoon from the White House. “I think we’re fine,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down to a June 5 deadline, when the Treasury estimates the government will start to run out of money to pay its bills and honor its debts.

A default can have catastrophic consequences, including driving the United States into recession and triggering a global economic collapse.

The basic framework of the agreement suspends the federal debt ceiling, which currently stands at $31.4 trillion, for two years, enough to get through the next 2024 presidential election and allow the government to continue to borrow money and remain solvent. .

In return, the Republicans secured some limits on federal spending during the same period.

Opposition to the bill comes on the one hand from the far right wing of Republicans, who want further cuts in public spending, and on the other, from progressive Democrats who did not want any cuts.

McCarthy has asked for a vote in favor next Wednesday in the House of Representatives, where his party’s slim majority will require significant support from Democrats to offset Republican dissent.

Getting the deal approved will be a major test of Biden’s and McCarthy’s leadership in their respective parties and their powers of persuasion in attracting skeptics.

McCarthy said Sunday on Fox News that the federal spending cuts were a major victory, insisting that 95% of House Republicans were “very excited.”

“It may not satisfy everyone, but it is a step in the right direction that no one expected us to achieve,” he stressed.

The strident note from the Republican opposition was delivered by Rep. Dan Bishop, a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, who tweeted a vomit emoji and criticized McCarthy for achieving “almost zero.”

Source: Ambito

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