Biden, McCarthy strike debt ceiling deal 'in principle'

 May 28, 2023

As America is on the verge of its first-ever debt default situation, which would cause absolute financial chaos, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Joe Biden announced they reached a deal "in principle." 

According to BBC, McCarthy said the deal "was worthy of the American people," while Biden simply described the good faith deal as a "compromise."

The two arrived at the deal after a week of intense pressure from Congress and the American public, as the last thing the nation needs under a weak economy is another crisis to throw it even further off track.

Without a deal, the U.S. Treasury would run out of funds by June 5.

What's the deal?

The deal, which has been both praised and criticized by both sides, was explained by NBC News.

The tentative agreement, which is expected to raise the country's borrowing authority in exchange for cuts in spending, was struck after weeks of negotiations led by Biden and McCarthy.

A source familiar with the agreement said it includes a two-year appropriations deal and a two-year extension of the debt limit, effectively resolving the issue until after the 2024 election. It will include work requirements to receive federal aid under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for people up to 54 years old, with exceptions for homeless people and veterans. But there will be “no changes to Medicaid,” the source said.

"It takes the threat of catastrophic default off the table," the president said in a statement after the news was revealed.

Biden quickly acknowledged that the next hurdle would be garnering enough support in Congress to pass the deal before the U.S. defaults on its debt.

"I strongly urge both chambers to pass that agreement," he said. "Let's keep moving forward."

McCarthy, praising the deal, added: "This is going to be transformational, where Congress is literally going to vote to spend less money this year than we spent last year."

Though both leaders expressed optimism that the bill will pass, a number of members on both sides of the aisle seem as if they strongly disagree.

Criticism erupts

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) was one of the Democrats who voiced her opposition to the deal.

"It is really unfortunate that the president opened the door to this, and while at the end of the day, you know, perhaps this will — because of the exemptions — perhaps it will be OK, I can’t commit to that. I really don’t know," the Washington progressive said.

While members of the House Freedom Caucus slammed McCarthy over the deal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urged Republicans to pass it quickly, praising McCarthy for getting it done.

"The Senate must act swiftly and pass this agreement without unnecessary delay," McConnell said. Only time will tell.

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