Republican Debt Limit Bill Faces First Test in House Rules Committee

Republican Debt Limit Bill Faces First Test in House Rules Committee

The House Rules Committee is set to review and mark up a House Republican bill aimed at raising the debt limit while significantly cutting federal spending. The committee will vote on whether to send the plan to the House floor. Republicans have stated that they will only vote to raise the debt ceiling if President Joe Biden and the Senate’s Democratic majority agree to a long list of budgetary demands contained in the 320-page bill, dubbed the Limit, Save and Grow Act.

Reports Suggest X-Date May Come Earlier Than Expected

Since the bill was first introduced, several reports have suggested that a larger than expected drop in federal tax receipts this year may hasten the arrival of the so-called X-date. The X-date is the projected date when the Treasury Department will exhaust the emergency measures it is taking to prevent a federal debt default. Goldman Sachs analysts have stated that if federal revenues fall by 35%, the X-date could move up to “early June.”

Challenges Facing the Bill

Even though the bill may pass the full House, it faces long odds in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has already declared it dead in the upper chamber. The White House also issued a scathing veto threat of the bill, calling it a “reckless attempt to extract extreme concessions.” The bill would raise the debt limit by $1.5 trillion in exchange for slashing federal spending and imposing tough new work requirements on many recipients of food aid and welfare assistance. It would also eliminate a central tenet of Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act: green energy tax breaks. Republican leadership understands that the bill in its current form will not become law, as it is intended to serve as McCarthy’s opening salvo in his looming negotiation with Biden over the debt limit and federal spending.

Republican Whip Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota has been furiously negotiating with members of his party to get everyone on board. He has stated that the final bill may not be perfect, but the alternative for a Republican House member would be worse. Republicans can only afford to lose four votes in their caucus and still pass the bill on the House floor without Democratic support.


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