debt ceiling


(FreedomWire.org) – After President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that a deal had been reached to increase the debt limit and avoid a default, a number of conservative leaders have raised alarms that the negotiated agreement does not go far enough to address Democrats’ out-of-control spending. Among them is Florida Governor and 2024 GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis ripped House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday over the debt ceiling deal, calling it “totally inadequate” when it came to addressing spending.

“Prior to this deal, Kayleigh, our country was careening toward bankruptcy and after this deal, our country will still be careening toward bankruptcy,” DeSantis said to “Fox and Friends” guest host Kayleigh McEnany.

“To say you can do $4 trillion of increases in the next year and a half, I mean, that is massive amount of spending,” DeSantis continued. “I think that we’ve gotten ourselves on a trajectory, really since March of 2020 with some of the COVID spending and totally reset the budget and they are sticking with that and I think that is totally inadequate to get us in a better spot.”

“In Florida, we run big budget surpluses,” DeSantis said of his own governance. “We have a $1.2 trillion economy but our debt is only $17 billion — second lowest per capita in the country,” he noted.

“We make tough choices,” DeSantis said of Florida’s budget decisions, “and we make sure that we look forward to the long haul.”

Contrasting Florida with D.C., DeSantis pointed out that Congress does “these cycles to just get them through the next election, and that’s ultimately one of the reasons why they continue to fail.”

McCarthy released the text of the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Sunday evening, which increases the debt ceiling through Jan. 1, 2025, taking it past the 2024 presidential election. The House is expected to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, following a 72-hour period for members to read the bill, a provision of the rules changes proposed by the Freedom Caucus and agreed to by McCarthy prior to his election as speaker.

The law freezes discretionary spending on non-defense budgetary items at Fiscal Year 2022 levels, adds reforms to permitting for energy projects and places new work requirements on some welfare programs. Many of those provisions were in the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which passed the House of Representatives by a 217-215 vote on April 26.

(FreedomWire.org) – Republicans have expressed outrage this weekend over the news of a tentative debt ceiling deal being reached between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after weeks of heated conflict.

The news arrived on Saturday night that Biden and McCarthy had agreed in principle to a deal that would raise the country’s debt limit for two years and curb federal spending. McCarthy, backed by a GOP majority in the House of Representatives, had previously refused to agree to a debt ceiling raise without significant spending cuts without raising taxes on the wealthy, while the president held strong, insisting that the debt ceiling should not be used as a bargaining chip.

Among the provisions in the tentative deal are increased work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which notably fall short of the requirements that Republicans had been demanding. The deal would also see non-defense spending remain largely flat for the next few years, not increasing in 2024 and increasing by only 1 percent in 2025. The deal must now pass in both houses of Congress before the projected June 5 deadline, after which the United States would default on its debts for the first time in history.

The tentative deal has seen strong pushback from many Republicans in Congress, with some notable members, like Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, announcing their intention to vote against it.

“Our base didn’t volunteer, door knock and fight so hard to get us the majority for this kind of compromise deal with Joe Biden,” Boebert wrote on Twitter late Saturday night. “Our voters deserve better than this. We work for them. You can count me as a NO on this deal. We can do better.”

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that there are “more questions than answers about the proposed debt limit deal,” and questioned the deal’s provisions concerning defense spending compared to inflation rates.

“For defense, this deal seems to echo the 2011 sequestration disaster,” Graham tweeted on Sunday morning. “Defense spending below inflation in the real world is a cut at a time when national security threats are increasing. I hope I’m wrong.”

“This ‘deal’ is insanity,” Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina tweeted. “A $4T debt ceiling increase with virtually no cuts is not what we agreed to. Not gonna vote to bankrupt our country. The American people deserve better.”

“Heard the call. RINOs congratulating McCarthy for getting almost zippo in exchange for $4T debt ceiling hike was enough to make you [puke emoji],” Representative Dan Bishop of North Carolina tweeted. “(Actually, it’s so bad they won’t give a figure for the debt ceiling hike … only that it’s suspended til Q1 2025. Our bill was a year less.)”

“I listened to Speaker McCarthy earlier tonight outline the deal with President Biden and I am appalled by the debt ceiling surrender,” Representative Ken Buck of Colorado added. “The bottom line is that the U.S. will have $35 trillion of debt in January, 2025. That is completely unacceptable.”

In his own tweet announcing the deal, McCarthy called the tentative deal “worthy of the American people,” and later said to reporters that it would see “historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, [a reining in of] government overreach, [and] no new taxes.”

On Twitter, Biden presented the deal as a “compromise.”

“It is an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone,” the president wrote. “And, the agreement protects my and Congressional Democrats’ key priorities and legislative accomplishments. The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. That’s the responsibility of governing.”

(FreedomWire.org) – The White House and House Republicans have reached an agreement in principle, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced on Saturday evening.

“We still have a lot of work to do. But I believe this is an agreement in principle that’s worthy of American people, ” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“That’s historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, reignin government overreach. There are no new taxes, no new government programs. There’s a lot more within the bill. We still have more work to do tonight to finish all the writing of it,” he said.

McCarthy said that he will not take media questions “out of respect.”

“I want to brief our members about where we currently are.” he said.

McCarthy refused to offer details on the deal, although some media reports citing anonymous sources claimed that both parties agreed to raise the nation’s debt limit for two years and place spending caps over that time, as well as increase work requirements for food aid.

The final text of the bill, according to the House Speaker, will be ready on Sunday, and voting will take place the following Wednesday.

“I expect to finish the writing of the bill, checking with the White House and speaking to the president again tomorrow afternoon and then posting the text of it tomorrow and then be voted on it on Wednesday.”

Before the announcement, McCarthy announced the deal on Twitter.

“I just got off the phone with the president a bit ago. After he wasted time and refused to negotiate for months, we’ve come to an agreement in principle that is worthy of the American people. I’ll deliver a statement at 9:10pm ET,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter.

The White House earlier confirmed the phone call between President Joe Biden and the speaker, as well as phone calls with Democratic leaders.

“This evening the President spoke with Speaker McCarthy. He spoke with Leaders Schumer and Jeffries earlier today,” the White House stated.

The agreement comes as the Treasury’s cash balance was shrinking at an alarming level, falling below $50 billion on May 24, down from $316.381 billion at the start of the month.

(FreedomWire.org) – McCarthy’s office is fighting against reports on several social media websites that Republicans are demanding that President Biden agree to work requirements on social services programs in an agreement that would raise the debt ceiling.

A headline from Raw Story declared, “McCarthy demands work requirements on ‘all the programs’ including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP.”

Interestingly, the Raw Story article was tweeted by a former Obama campaign official, Jon Cooper.

“Kevin McCarthy is demanding that WORK REQUIREMENTS be added to receive not only Medicaid but also Medicare and Social Security. He doesn’t think Americans have earned their benefits – despite paying into all three programs over the course of their entire working lives,” Cooper wrote in a separate post.

“The plan proposed by McCarthy and other GOP leaders to enforce work-related requirements in these federal benefit programs would not apply to Social Security and Medicare, contrary to information spreading on social media, the speaker’s office confirmed,” reported JustTheNews.

“Work requirements in the SNAP program, commonly referred to as food stamps, apply to adults between ages 18 to 49 without dependents,” JustTheNews reported. “These recipients must work 80 hours a month or enroll in a work-training program, according to the SNAP guidelines on the program’s website. Under the GOP proposal, the age would increase to 55.”

Notoriously liberal groups like Occupy Democrats and Public Citizen are also sharing the false stories about work requirements in the House Republican plan.

“Kevin McCarthy is demanding work requirements for Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security,” they wrote.

Republicans have set the record straight over and over again that cuts will not include Social Security or Medicare, but democrats continue to use it as a talking point and scare tactic.

(FreedomWire.org) – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. will hit its debt limit on January 19, at which point the Treasury Department will take “extraordinary measures” to avoid default.

She called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling as soon as possible, with the government on track to max out on its $31.4 trillion borrowing authority next week. Without intervention, the government could be left unable to pay its bills by June.

“It is unlikely that cash and extraordinary measures will be exhausted before early June,” she wrote in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) Extraordinary measures include delaying some payments, including contributions to federal employees’ retirement plans, to free up funds for essential payments such as those for Social Security and debt instruments.

The debt limit is the total amount of money the U.S. government is allowed legally to borrow to pay for its existing obligations, “including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments,” the treasury secretary noted. 

“I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” Yellen wrote.

“Failure to meet the government’s obligations would cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy, the livelihoods of all Americans, and global financial stability,” she said. “Indeed, in the past, even threats that the U.S. government might fail to meet its obligations have caused real harms, including the only credit rating downgrade in the history of our nation in 2011.”

It is likely to prove difficult for Congress to hammer out a deal to raise the debt limit, as Republicans control the House, while Democrats control the Senate.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R., La.) said earlier this week the U.S. must curb its spending, just as a person with maxed-out credit cards would.

“At the same time you’re dealing with the debt limit, you’re also putting mechanisms in place so that you don’t keep maxing it out, because if the limit gets raised, you don’t go to the store the next day and just max it out again,” Scalise told reporters.

“You start figuring out how to control the spending problem. And this has been going on for way too long. And we’re going to confront this,” he added.

Yellen noted in her letter that “increasing or suspending the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments or cost taxpayers money.”

“It simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and Presidents of both parties have made in the past,” she added. 

White House says it will not engage in negotiations over raising the debt limit. “This should be done without conditions,” says Karine Jean-Pierre. “There’s going to be no negotiation over it. This is something that must get done.”

Republicans are encouraging McCarthy to not raise the debt limit.

McCarthy said a cap on spending in exchange for temporarily raising the debt limit could be the way to go to avoid a potential default on the nation’s debt.