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How Soon Could the Debt Deal Pass Congress?



How Soon Could the Debt Deal Pass Congress

(CTN News) – Legislation to raise the federal borrowing limit appears to be moving through Congress, which would prevent a potentially disastrous default on the nation’s debt; however, time is running out for both chambers to send the deal to President Joe Biden’s desk for signature before June 5.

House Rules Committee Meeting Sets Stage for Debt Limit Measure

On Tuesday, the House Rules Committee will vote on whether or not to approve the debt limit agreement that Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Vice President Joe Biden negotiated over the weekend. After that, how quickly the proposal may pass the Senate due to possible opposition is unknown.

However, before the House floor vote, some Republicans may try to obstruct the 99-page bill.

To prepare for floor consideration of the debt ceiling bill, the House Rules Committee, also known as “the speaker’s committee” because it tended to be stacked with leadership friends, will meet on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

However, unlike in the past, McCarthy’s Rules Committee is full of staunch conservatives who may oppose the Speaker’s negotiated debt deal.

House Freedom Caucus members Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) have already said they will vote against the plan. However, libertarian and unlikely leadership ally Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has not yet announced his position.

If all three agree, McCarthy may be forced to rely on Democratic committee members to advance legislation that would otherwise be blocked on a party-line vote.

During McCarthy’s 15-vote bid for the speaker’s gavel in January, Roy claimed there was an “explicit” agreement that “nothing would pass Rules Committee without AT LEAST 7 GOP votes –

AND the Committee would not allow reporting out rules without unanimous Republican votes.” However, there was never any public announcement of such an agreement, and the rules controlling the House Rules panel do not support such a threshold.

The rest of the conference probably didn’t even know those exchanges happened. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) expressed skepticism about this possibility to reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday.

“I’m a stickler for the regulations. “When I hear that something must occur in a particular way, the first thing I do is pull out the rule book,” Johnson explained. And as far as I could tell, there was no requirement for an item to receive unanimous approval from the Rules Committee.

In a call with reporters on Monday afternoon, other Republicans in the House celebrated the success of the top two Republican negotiators, Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Garret Graves (R-LA), in striking an agreement with the White House.

GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) repeatedly stressed that the conference included representatives from throughout the Republican party; things got tense when Emily Brooks from The Hill asked the hosts to reply to Roy’s tweet about the Rules committee.

Arkansas Republican Representative French Hill was the lone lawmaker to address the media, saying, “l’ll just say succinctly that we control the Rules Committee, and we would like our rules to come to the floor with a majority of Republican votes.”

Leadership Expresses Confidence in the Passage of the Bill

Beyond Roy and Norman, a growing roster of Republicans, including Reps, has pledged to vote against the McCarthy-Biden debt limit deal. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Bob Good (R-Va.), Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) and Keith Self (R-Texas).

They (the Democrats) also have prospective defectors inside their ranks. New work requirements for two government assistance programs and spending limitations have enraged progressives.

After Wednesday, however, the bill is expected to overcome the final hurdle and be forwarded to the Senate for approval.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has already pledged to delay the process in the Senate, so it could take the upper chamber up to three days to pass the legislation before it reaches Vice President Joe Biden’s desk.

This is because time is of the essence in passing the legislation; senators are not expected to pass the bill by unanimous consent.

Neither chamber’s leadership is signaling any anxiety that the bill will be blocked. On Monday’s teleconference with reporters, Stefanik said, when asked if the House will vote to adopt the bill, “We anticipate strong support.”

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