After much back-and-forth and a final round of negotiations last weekend, the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) came to an agreement on a debt ceiling package earlier this week. Yesterday evening, the House passed the legislation in a bipartisan manner, by a vote of 314 – 117. The Senate must now take it up.
While its details are still being digested, the package contains the following provisions, among others:
- a suspension of the debt limit until January 1, 2025
- essentially a freeze in discretionary spending for both FY2024 and FY2025 relative to FY2023, the current fiscal year
- as part of the spending limits for the next two years, the legislation sets separate spending caps on “security” and “non-security” programs for the next two fiscal years
- a mandatory cut of one percent in discretionary spending if all 12 annual appropriations are not signed into law by January 1 each fiscal year for the next two years
- prohibition on further extensions of the student loan repayment deferrals– repayments would restart by early September
The legislation also includes a package of recissions, the details of which are still being assessed. We will share additional information about them as they come to light.
Not surprisingly, there was drama in the House before the floor vote, as some members of the hard-right wing of the House Republicans blasted the deal. There were questions about whether, procedurally, McCarthy had enough support to even bring the bill to the floor.
As noted above, the bill now goes to the Senate, where both Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urged support for it among their colleagues.