McCarthy ‘Working Through’ GOP Lawmakers’ Concerns Over Debt Ceiling Bill

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 19, 2023. InternationalIndiaAfricaAs House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., introduced his bill for a temporary $1.5 trillion increase in the nation’s debt ceiling on April 19, he tied the legislation to several spending cuts targeting aspects of US President Joe Biden’s agenda, and warning that a “no-strings-attached debt limit increase will not pass.”The House’s GOP speaker, Kevin McCarthy, has been a man on a mission these past days, trying to woo leery members of his own Republican ranks to support his debt ceiling legislation. McCarthy, who proposed a bill (HR 2811) that would raise the debt limit while slashing spending, sounded upbeat on Tuesday evening, telling reporters: “We’re going to pass the bill on the floor.” But for all the optimism exuded by the California Republican, there are reportedly still divisions on the bill among the GOP, while the so-called “X-date” when the US could default unless Congress passes a debt limit increase looms ominously.“This bill is to get us to a negotiating point. It’s not the final provisions, and there’s a number of members that will vote for it going forward to say there are some concerns they have and that they’d be concerned about which things come up, but they want to make sure the negotiation goes forward,” McCarthy was cited as telling the media.On Tuesday, the speaker brainstormed over the bill for a temporary $1.5 trillion increase in the nation’s debt ceiling in his office with GOP members, including Republicans from Iowa and other states in the Midwest. The fact is, McCarthy can afford to lose the votes of no more than four of the 222 Republican lawmakers if the bill is to pass the House floor. Approximately six or seven Republicans were said to be reluctant to offer the bill their support amid concerns about provisions in the spending cuts tied in with the debt ceiling legislation that repeal tax credits linked to biofuel, such as biodiesel, sustainable aviation fuels, carbon capture for ethanol plants, etc. Such green energy tax credits were contained in Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act. Some Republicans reportedly do not support changing the work requirement as per the bill, which institutes a 20-hour-per-week work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients without children starting in 2025. For example, Matt Gaetz, a representative from Florida, urged for the requirement change in 2024.Kevin McCarthy, however, is said to be resisting any attempts to introduce amendments to his bill.“We want 218 votes,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., was cited as saying as he left McCarthy’s office on April 25, adding that discussions were “evolving.” According to House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., GOP leaders will “go through all the final details” with Republican members during a morning conference on Wednesday. Weighing in on the fact that the Congressional Budget Office estimated on April 25 that the proposed debt ceiling bill would save $4.8 trillion over a span of 11 years, Scalise stated:“On any major package like this, people want to see how much is this going to save taxpayers”.AmericasUS House Speaker McCarthy ‘Working, Talking’ to Leery GOP to Garner Support For Debt Ceiling Bill21 April, 10:55 GMTIntroduced by Kevin McCarthy on April 19, the legislation would raise the debt limit by $1.5 trillion in exchange for slashing federal spending and imposing new work requirements on many recipients of food aid and welfare assistance programs, besides effectively chipping away at Biden’s much-touted green energy tax breaks.At this point it should be noted that even if McCarthy’s bill were to pass the full House, it stands a slim chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate, while the White House has threatened to veto it if it passes Congress. The administration of President Joe Biden called it a “reckless attempt to extract extreme concessions as a condition for the United States simply paying the bills it has already incurred” on Tuesday.Meanwhile, debt ceiling jitters continue to make themselves felt across financial markets. New reports have indicated that a larger than expected drop in federal tax receipts this year may bring closer the so-called X-date by which the US Treasury will have exhausted its emergency funding measures to avert a federal debt default. According to Goldman Sachs analysts, if federal revenues “fall by 35%,” the X-date could be moved to “early June.”EconomyYellen Warns US Debt Default Risks Mass Unemployment, Broad Economic WeaknessYesterday, 22:55 GMT

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