Key House Committee Advances Debt Ceiling Bill Despite Freedom Caucus Revolt

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

The House Rules Committee voted 7-6 to advance the Fiscal Responsibility Act to the full chamber Tuesday night over the objections of two members of the Freedom Caucus.

The legislation, which would raise the debt ceiling into 2025, is now scheduled for a vote in front of the full House on Wednesday. Republican Reps. Ralph Norman of South Carolina and Chip Roy of Texas voted with all four Democrats on the panel in opposition to the bill. More than two dozen House Republicans have pledged to oppose the Fiscal Responsibility Act, meaning that the bill will not pass the House without Democratic support.

Not one Republican should vote for this deal. It is a bad deal. No one sent us here to borrow an additional $4 trillion to get absolutely nothing in return,” Roy said at a press conference ahead of the vote. “There will be a reckoning about what just occurred unless we stop this bill.” (RELATED: Rep. Dan Bishop Calls For Speaker McCarthy’s Removal Over Debt Ceiling)

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy released the bill text on Sunday night, one day after he announced that GOP leadership had come to an agreement with President Joe Biden. The legislation includes two years of budget caps and will roll back non-defense discretionary spending to Fiscal Year 2022 levels. It also resumes student loan payments and includes reforms to speed up energy projects and work requirements for welfare recipients.

“This bill is not everything everyone wanted. But it delivers for the American people on several fronts,” House Ways and Means Committee chairman Jason Smith of Missouri testified to the Rules Committee, while noting provisions clawing back unspent COVID-19 relief funds and billions of dollars in IRS funding.

Although the bill is currently scheduled for a Wednesday floor vote, more than two dozen House Republicans have already announced their opposition. GOP leadership had previously said that more than 95% of the conference would support the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Notably, key leadership allies like Reps. Kat Cammack of Florida and Nancy Mace of South Carolina have come out against the package, in addition to the more conservative representatives who voted against McCarthy.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said he expects Republican leadership to deliver at least two-thirds of their conference. The New Democrat Coalition, which includes 97 voting members, is endorsing the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Their support could offset GOP losses.

Republican defections are likely to grow, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds told reporters earlier Tuesday.

“With the other members, members are all talking. I get text messages. Somebody calls me, I call somebody else, and it’s that kind of stuff. It’s a constant evolution,” he said.