Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy released legislation Sunday night which would raise the federal debt ceiling through Jan. 1, 2025.
The 99-page Fiscal Responsibility Act freezes non-defense discretionary spending at Fiscal Year 2022 levels and caps federal spending increases to one percent per year over a six-year period. It also resumes student loan payments and includes reforms to speed up energy projects and work requirements for welfare recipients. McCarthy and President Joe Biden came to the agreement Saturday night, after several weeks of negotiating. (RELATED: Kevin McCarthy, Joe Biden Reach Debt Ceiling Agreement)
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act does what is responsible for our children, what is possible in divided government, and what is required by our principles and promises. Only because of Republicans’ resolve did we achieve this transformative change to how Washington operates,” McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik said in a statement.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act does what is responsible for our kids, what is possible in divided government, & what is required by our principles. Republican resolve achieved this transformative change to how Washington works.
Full bill text is available.https://t.co/trw8wSBqnH
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) May 28, 2023
Notably, the legislation does not raise the debt limit by a dollar amount. The Limit, Save, Grow Act, which House Republicans passed in early May, would raise the debt ceiling through March 2024 or by $1.5 trillion. Some conservative Republicans, including North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop and Texas Rep. Chip Roy, have already objected to legislation that does not specify a specific amount to raise the debt limit by.
“The agreement also represents a compromise which means no one got everything they want, but that’s the responsibility of governing,” Biden said at a press conference Sunday. “The Speaker and I made clear from the start that the only way forward was a bipartisan agreement. That agreement now goes to the U.S. House and Senate. I strongly urge both chambers to pass that agreement.” (RELATED: CORTES: McCarthy’s Latest Win Is Not Everything Conservatives Want, But It’s A Great Start)
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Saturday the federal government will default on its debts by June 5, later than initial estimates for June 1. The House of Representatives can vote on the bill no earlier than Wednesday, May 31 due to a rule giving members 72 hours to review all pieces of legislation before leadership can schedule votes.