House Speaker Kevin McCarthy defended his debt ceiling deal with President Biden on Sunday, claiming it has 95% of Republicans’ support and is a “step in the right direction.”
While the California Republican acknowledged making concessions to stop the US from defaulting on its debt, he touted the agreement as an overwhelming success for the GOP — claiming it was the biggest spending cut for the IRS in US history and a major blow to Democrats.
“Maybe it doesn’t do everything for everyone, but this is a step in the right direction that no one thought that we would be able to today,” McCarthy told Fox News Sunday about the months of on-and-off negotiations with Biden.
“I’ll debate this bill with anybody,” he added. “Is it everything I wanted? No, because we don’t control all of it. But it is the biggest rescission in history. It is the biggest cut Congress has ever voted for in that process.”
While the exact provisions of the deal have yet to be released, McCarthy previously said “it has historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, rein in government overreach, there are no new taxes [and] no new government programs.”
McCarthy is expected to deliver the bill’s final language to the House 72 hours after he and Biden hammered out the tentative deal Saturday.
Many House Republicans have declared they won’t support the deal, claiming the cuts are only skin deep — such as at $1.8 billion slash to the IRS, which is scheduled to get $80 billion in funds in the coming years.
GOP Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde tweeted he ‘d take a “hard pass,” saying the deal has none of the fiscal policies contained in the House-passed Limit, Save, Grow Act, including cuts to non-defense discretionary spending and claws back around $100 billion in unspent COVID relief funds.
Despite the opposition from some vocal GOP members of Congress, McCarthy said Sunday he was not concerned “because more than 95% of all those in the conference were very excited.”
Like McCarthy, Biden said the deal represents a series of compromises that will likely have overwhelming support from Congress.
“The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want,” Biden said in a statement. “That’s the responsibility of governing.”
While full details are still under wraps, the deal would raise the debt limit for two years — extending it beyond the 2024 presidential election — in exchange for cutting government spending during the same period.
The agreement would also halt federal spending flat for 2024 and increase it by 1% for 2025.
The two sides have to carefully thread the needle in finding a compromise that can clear the House, with a 222-213 Republican majority, and Senate, with a 51-49 Democratic majority.
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