September 22, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Debt ceiling agreement in principle reached between Democrats, Republicans

An agreement in principle has been reached on the debt ceiling between House Republican leaders and the White House.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the deal includes cuts and language aimed at reducing the government’s footprint. He said the text of the deal should be out by Sunday, and that he hopes the House can vote on it by Wednesday.

“We still have a lot of work to do. But I believe this is an agreement in principle that’s worthy of the American people. 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, no new government programs. There’s a lot more within the bill,” McCarthy said.


An internal House GOP memo that outlines main messaging points for the deal says McCarthy and the White House have agreed to cut non-defense discretionary spending to fiscal 2022 levels, a key asking point for Republicans. It also claws back billions of unspent COVID-19 pandemic funds, and includes permitting reform to speed up approvals for energy and infrastructure projects. 

Republican members were told on a conference call late on Saturday night that the deal also imposes a 1% growth cap on federal spending for six years, while spending for defense and veterans would go up, a source told Fox News. Lawmakers expect to be called back for a vote either Wednesday or Thursday, the source said.

A source familiar with the details told Fox News Digital that the deal claws back $1.9 billion of the $80 billion total funding granted to the Internal Revenue Service in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, and that the debt limit would be raised until January 2025 – taking it through the next presidential election.

Another source familiar with the talks told Fox News that negotiators also agreed to a two-year budget deal, which includes freezing non-defense spending levels at the current fiscal year.

That appears to fall short of Republican goals outlined in the House GOP’s Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would have raised the debt limit for about a year while rolling back the current year’s spending levels by roughly $150 billion. Several House Republicans were already tweeting late Saturday night that they can’t accept the deal based on the details that were emerging.

Republicans got their wish for tighter work requirements for some Americans on federal benefits – the applicable age for work requirements for SNAP recipients would be raised from 49 to 54, while being reduced for veterans and homeless people, among others. But those tougher work requirements would not be required for Medicaid benefits.


President Biden claimed the deal “protects” Democrats’ policies but acknowledged that not everyone got what they wanted in a statement released late on Saturday night.

“It is an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone. And, the agreement protects my and Congressional Democrats’ key priorities and legislative accomplishments. The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want,” Biden said.

“Over the next day, our negotiating teams will finalize legislative text and the agreement will go to the United States House and Senate. I strongly urge both chambers to pass the agreement right away,” he said.

McCarthy told reporters after his earlier discussion with Biden, “I just got off the phone with the president a bit ago. After he wasted time and refused to negotiate for months, we’ve come to an agreement in principle that is worthy of the American people,” McCarthy said after his discussion with Biden.


Democrats had gone into the talks pushing for a clean debt limit increase without preconditions, something Republicans made clear from the start that they would not accept.

President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke at about 6 p.m. Eastern time to talk about the progress made so far, and spoke for nearly 90 minutes.

Edward Lawrence contributed to this report

Source: Politics