Bipartisan House Group Unveils Alternative Debt Ceiling Proposal As McCarthy, Biden Butt Heads

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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A group of over 60 House members has introduced a budget proposal to resolve the impasse between House Republicans and the Biden administration as the U.S. heads towards a debt default.

The Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC), comprised of largely moderate House members with a roughly equal number of Democrats and Republicans, released a summary of their proposal on Wednesday. The proposal calls for a suspension of the debt ceiling, with no dollar limit in borrowing, until the end of the year, along with measures intended to stabilize the deficit.

“I would vote to raise the debt ceiling today, without conditions,” Democratic Rep. Scott Peters of California, one of the PSC members who co-led its Debt and Deficit Working Group, said in a press release about the report. He added that a “[f]ailure to lift the debt ceiling would be a catastrophic abdication of our responsibilities as lawmakers.” (RELATED: Kevin McCarthy Proposes Raising Debt Ceiling, Large Spending Cuts In Budget Plan)

Under the PSC’s plan, the debt-ceiling suspension would be converted into a numerical limit by December 31, 2023, to last until February 28, 2025, provided that a deficit reduction deal is reached by the end of the year. This stands in contrast with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s budget proposal — the Limit, Save, Grow Act — released on Wednesday, as well, which establishes a hard $1.5 trillion debt-ceiling increase that would prolong any default date by 11 months.

The plan avoids any direct mention of government spending cuts. While McCarthy and House conservatives have proposed cuts to what they term “runaway spending” on energy tax credits and the Internal Revenue Service, the Congressional Democrats and the Biden Administration have opposed any cuts and accused the GOP of trying to cut federal entitlement benefits under Medicare and Social Security.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has signaled that any bill with spending cuts will not pass the Senate, while Biden has indicated that he will veto such a proposal.

“My way or the highway’ doesn’t work in divided government,” said Republican Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, another co-chair of the working group, in the press release. Bacon later told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he supported McCarthy’s plan, with the PSC proposal being relevant only “if we hit a total roadblock in negotiations.”

PSC Debt Ceiling Framework by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

It’s unclear whether such a proposal could gather the support of a majority of House members for passage, or whether all members of the PSC even support their caucus’s proposal. Even Peters concluded that it wasn’t unanimous, saying that it was supported by “more than 75%” but not specifying a number, according to the press release.

Peters as well as co-chairman and Democratic Rep. Ed Case of Hawaii, have been contacted for a comment, as has the White House, Schumer, and McCarthy, by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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