OAN’s Daniel Baldwin
10:01 AM – Monday, May 29, 2023
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hailed his “agreement in principle” with President Joe Biden to raise the U.S. debt ceiling as a “transformational” moment for the country.
“It’s not 100% what everybody wants, but when you look at it, the country is going to be stronger,” McCarthy said in a press conference Sunday morning. “This is going to be transformational.”
The deal was announced late Saturday evening after a phone call between McCarthy and Biden. The “agreement in principle” to raise the federal government’s $31 trillion debt ceiling gives Congress the opportunity to beat the June 5th default deadline given by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
“I’m trying to change the [House of Representatives] where it works again,” said McCarthy. “We know any time when you sit and negotiate with two parties that you have to work with both sides of the aisle.”
Biden hailed the agreement as a victory for the American public but stressed it was a compromise as well.
“That’s the responsibility of governing,” said Biden.
Officials say the deal would increase the debt limit for two years in exchange for slashing spending during the same time period. It would hold spending flat for 2024 and increase it by 1% for 2025. The agreement also raised the age for work requirements on adults without children to 54. Finally the deal would claw back unspent money from the previous pandemic relief legislation. It would also cut $10 billion of funding for Biden’s 87,000 I.R.S. agents.
“The outcome of that is a fundamental shift in the spending trajectory in Washington,” said North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, one of McCarthy’s lead negotiators.
McCarthy will give House members 72 hours to read over the bill’s text before a vote on Wednesday, May 31. Conservative Congress members have begun to voice their displeasure with GOP concessions.
“I listened to Speaker McCarthy earlier tonight outline the deal with President Biden and I am appalled by the debt ceiling surrender,” tweeted Colorado Rep. Ken Buck. “The bottom line is that the U.S. will have $35 trillion of debt in January, 2025. That is completely unacceptable.”
While it remains unclear what members of each party will defect and vote against the bill, McCarthy dismissed any possibility that the package will not get through the House of Representatives.
“We did a conference call with our conference and over 95% were overwhelmingly excited about what they see,” said McCarthy.
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