What are Democrats and Republicans’ Thoughts?

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us debt ceiling bill, us debt ceiling, us government default, biden-mccarthy deal on us debt ceiling

us debt ceiling bill, us debt ceiling, us government default, biden-mccarthy deal on us debt ceiling

The House has cleared the US debt ceiling deal that was earlier clinched between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to avert a looming government default. How did Republicans and Democrats react to the bill and what was GOP presidential candidates’ stance on the matter? Sputnik answers these and other questions.

What Did Biden Say?

The 46th US president touted the bill as “good news for the American people and the American economy,” urging the Senate to take up the legislation, which was passed on Wednesday evening, as soon as possible.

“Tonight, the House took a critical step forward to prevent a first-ever default and protect our country’s hard-earned and historic economic recovery,” Biden said in a statement.

This budget agreement is a bipartisan compromise. Neither side got everything it wanted. That’s the responsibility of governing. I want to thank Speaker McCarthy and his team for negotiating in good faith, as well as [Democratic] Leader [Hakeem] Jeffries for his leadership,” POTUS added.
US President Joe Biden (R), with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (L), shakes hands with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, as they depart after the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on St. Patrick's Day at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 17, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.05.2023

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He also said he had been “clear that the only path forward is a bipartisan compromise that can earn the support of both parties.” According to Biden, “This agreement meets that test. I urge the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible so that I can sign it into law, and our country can continue building the strongest economy in the world.”

How Did Democrats and Republicans Respond?

Hakeem Jeffries himself promised that Democrats will “continue to do what is necessary” to “build an economy that works for everyday Americans,” while McCarthy told reporters, “I’ve been thinking about this day before my vote for speaker because I knew the debt ceiling was coming.”

“I wanted to make history. I wanted to do something no other Congress has done, that we would literally turn the ship and for the first time in quite some time, we’d spend less than we spent the year before. Tonight, we all made history,” the House Speaker claimed.

He was partly echoed by Republican Garret Graves, who expressed frustration that the US accumulated so much debt, but hailed the bill’s “historic” savings and urged his colleagues to pass the legislation.

“It is absolutely historic. For the first time ever, as a result of the strategic nature of this speaker, we’re in a situation where we have legislation before us that will result in the greatest savings in American history,” Graves argued.

Some conservative Republicans, such as Ralph Norman, who voted against the legislation, accused Speaker McCarthy of caving to Democratic demands. “Once you dissect the bill, this bill is un-American. It defies conservatism. No Republican in good conscience should support this,” he said ahead of the vote.

Democrat Ritchie Torres, for his part, admitted that “the deal is bad,” but added that “the alternative, a default in America, would be much worse.”

“It seems to me the president was extraordinarily effective at watering down the ransom note from the Republicans,” Torres added.

He spoke as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the House vote “very good,” telling reporters that “we hope we can move the bill quickly here in the Senate, and bring it to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”

Dollar banknotes - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.05.2023

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Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez said that even though “this bill is far from perfect”, she voted for this legislation because “it prevents economic catastrophe, rejects the cruelest proposals, and protects investments for our communities.” She urged her colleagues from the party “never let Republicans take our economy hostage again.”

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that while she finds the legislation “objectionable,” it would avert a catastrophic default.

What are GOP Presidential Contenders’ Thoughts?

Almost all Republican presidential candidates have, meanwhile, lined up against the bill, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis insisting that the US “was careening towards bankruptcy before the debt deal, and it will still be careening towards bankruptcy after this debt deal.”

He underscored that the deal is “not gonna solve our nation’s fiscal problems.”

“This is greenlighting $4 trillion in new debt in less than two years. It took us almost 200 years to get to $4 trillion in debt in the first place. It locks in inflated COVID-era levels of spending. And it keeps 98% of the 87,000 new IRS agents that Joe Biden instituted,” the Florida governor said referring to the agreement.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is yet to officially entered the presidential race, said the deal “doesn’t just kick the can down the road, it uses Washington smoke and mirror games to make small reforms.”

“It’s time to be honest with the American people and get everybody to the table to restore fiscal integrity to our nation. By ignoring the drivers of our national debt and avoiding honest conversations with the American people, President Biden and the Washington establishment continue to pile the burden of debt onto the backs of our grandchildren, and the American people deserve better,” Pence said.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott noted that despite the fact that McCarthy did a good job in negotiating process, the agreement didn’t go far enough and that he would oppose it.

The GOP presidential candidate explained that he disagreed with a key aspect of the bill, which would allow the debt ceiling to be raised through early 2025.

“The question I asked myself is ‘At the end of the negotiation, is it in our best interest as a nation to allow Joe Biden, someone we cannot trust on spending, to have an open checkbook, no limit on the credit card until the end of his term?’ My answer is ‘no.’ So the fact that the current deal allows for him to continue to spend however much he does with no limit is something that I can’t support,” Scott added.

The same tone was struck by former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, for her part, called the document “business as usual” and “no way to run our country’s fiscal affairs.”

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who heads an asset management company and is running for president on an “anti-woke” platform, said he would “absolutely” vote against it if he were in Congress. He described the spending cuts in the budget agreement as “window dressing.”

One candidate not opposed to the bill was former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Nothing’s perfect, and that’s the result of compromise and having to work with this president,” he told a US news network.

What Was Trump Reaction?

Former President Donald Trump, the projected 2024 GOP election frontrunner, has gone conspicuously silent since the deal was clinched late Saturday.

Trump had earlier urged Republicans not to make a deal unless all of their demands were met, even if it meant sending the country into a government default. “That’s the way the Democrats have always dealt with us. Do not fold!!!” he wrote on his Truth Social platform earlier this month.

The US Congress building at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.05.2023

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This followed Trump arguing that Republicans should use the debt ceiling deal as leverage to roll back many of Biden’s spending priorities. “If they don’t, … you’ll have to default,” Trump said, suggesting that the consequences of a default could lead to “a bad week or a bad day.”

His rhetoric, however, showed signs of softening shortly before the deal was agreed as he told McCarthy, “Make sure you get a good agreement.”





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