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Debt Ceiling: Speaker McCarthy, House GOP Rushes Toward ‘Non-existing’ Plan

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) concludes a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is working to reach a deal to raise the federal debt-limit as Congress struggles to find common ground on spending priorities. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Speaker Kevin McCarthy has a difficult road ahead to rally the House Republican Conference behind a plan to extend the national debt ceiling in return for cutting expenditure.

The plan calls for restoring federal expenditure to levels seen in the fiscal year 2022, capping spending growth at 1% yearly, and imposing additional job requirements on those receiving government assistance.

Given the slim GOP majority in the House, Washington Times said McCarthy could only lose four votes on any bill before needing Democratic support to pass it. 

Democrats claim that Republicans won’t be able to win their support on the debt ceiling as long as they insist on cutting government expenditures.

Debt Ceiling

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 09: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 09, 2020 in Washington, DC. McCarthy answered a range of questions related primarily to the House articles of impeachment being sent to the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Debt Ceiling Increase: Will Democrats Approve It?

The White House’s position is echoed by House Democrats, who want a clear debt ceiling rise with separate budgeting conversations and have made it clear they would not cooperate with House Republicans in any way.

 In a news conference on Tuesday per USA Today, House Democratic Chair Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said that if Republicans decide to provide a budget plan or budget when it comes to debts, deficits, and spending, they are willing to have those discussions in the Budget Committee.

McCarthy emphasized that there is absolutely no prospect that the GOP-controlled House would approve a straightforward debt limit raise.

READ ALSO: Debt-Ceiling And Its Potential Effects On Social Security And Medicare

How McCarthy Would Wrangle GOP Votes

The likelihood that the idea will be approved by President Joe Biden or the Democratic-controlled Senate is very slim, ABC News wrote. The idea, however, will serve as McCarthy’s next significant test as speaker as he seeks to demonstrate his ability to unify a slim GOP majority around a concise strategy and strengthen his bargaining position with the White House.

The White House has declined to speak with McCarthy about raising the debt ceiling, claiming that he must first provide a budget plan. Senior advisers to Biden are dubious about the ability of the troubled new speaker to unite his many factions behind any strategy. McCarthy presented the details of his proposal in a speech to the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, but the White House disregarded it, claiming that “a speech is not a plan.”

According to the Treasury Department, the US will need to lift the debt limit, which is now $31 trillion, most certainly by summer. Treasury is now employing “extraordinary measures” to permit continuing borrowing in order to settle accumulated debt, but they will soon expire.

In exchange for reducing spending to fiscal 2022 levels, recovering tens of billions of dollars in unspent COVID-19 relief funds, and imposing a 1% cap on future spending each year for a decade, it would raise the debt ceiling until the following year, putting it directly into the 2024 presidential election.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., the leader of the House Freedom Caucus, said late on Monday that the idea was a start in the right direction but that he still wanted to examine the specifics of the debt ceiling.

“Kevin McCarthy is going to get 218 votes on this deal,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., a chairman of the conservative Main Street Caucus, referring to the majority needed for passage.

READ ALSO: Debt Ceiling Pushes Social Security Payments On The Line; What Happens Next?

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