The recently unveiled compromise to raise the debt ceiling bill, put forth by House Republicans, is encountering hurdles in its path as opposition from within the party continues to escalate. The proposed legislation faces its initial significant test on Tuesday as it undergoes review in the House Rules Committee. Notably, two of the panel’s nine Republican members have already indicated their intent to oppose advancing the bill for a vote on the House floor.
Compromise Bill Under Review: Fiscal Responsibility Act’s Obstacles in House Committee
Known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act, this bill is the result of negotiations between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden. It aims to establish a cap on federal baseline spending for a two-year period. In exchange for Republican support in raising the debt ceiling beyond next year’s elections and extending it until 2025, this agreement was forged.
To avert a potential financial crisis, the bill needs approval from the Republican-majority House as well as the Democratic-controlled Senate before June 5. According to projections from the Treasury Department, by that date, the United States may face insufficient funds to meet its debt obligations.
Critical Decision Looms: Republican Dissenters Threaten Debt Ceiling Bill Progress
A faction of conservative Republicans has publicly criticized the compromise bill, accusing McCarthy of capitulating to the White House. Simultaneously, several Democrats have voiced their dissatisfaction with the deal, particularly highlighting their concerns regarding the inclusion of new work requirements for food stamps, which they consider a red line.
McCarthy intends to schedule a vote on the bill for Wednesday. However, prior to being considered by the full House, it must secure the approval of the House Rules Committee, comprising 13 members. This committee is responsible for establishing the rules of debate surrounding the bill.
The House Rules Committee is set to convene at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday to deliberate on the regulations governing the debt ceiling vote. The committee’s composition heavily favors the majority party, with a 9-4 split, ensuring that legislation is not obstructed by a few dissenting voices aligned with the minority.
Nonetheless, the bill can face impediments if three Republicans align with the four Democrats in the committee. Presently, as of Tuesday morning, two Republican members of the Rules Committee, namely Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Ralph Norman of South Carolina, have expressed their intention to oppose the bill’s progression.
Norman took to Twitter, criticizing the bill, stating, “Workarounds, fuzzy math, and no real cuts… this #DebtCeiling deal is weak everywhere it needed to be strong.” Meanwhile, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, another member of the panel, is yet to declare his stance.
Should the Fiscal Responsibility Act encounter roadblocks in the Rules Committee, it would resurrect the imminent threat of a debt default, with less than a week remaining before the crucial deadline.