US debt ceiling deal passes first hurdle in Congress

The US debt ceiling deal still needs to pass in the voting round expected to take place in the House of Representatives

US debt ceiling deal passes first hurdle in Congress (Photo: DW)
US debt ceiling deal passes first hurdle in Congress (Photo: DW)


Passing a major hurdle for the budget deal, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy convinced fellow Republicans in Congress to suspend the debt ceiling — a plan he worked on with US President Joe Biden on Sunday.

The House Rules Committee, which determines the scheduling of bills for consideration on the floor of the House, voted 7-6 to allow the bill to advance to the full chamber.

Two committee Republicans — ultra-conservatives who wanted deeper spending cuts — had gone against their leadership by opposing the bill.

During the vote, two Republican hardliners joined four left-wing Democrats in opposing the deal, ahead of an estimated June 5 deadline, to prevent the country from defaulting on its debt. The left wing of the Democratic Party is unhappy that Biden made any concessions at all on spending limits.

The bill still needs lawmakers' support in the voting round expected to take place on Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

How will the deal help?

Without consensus on the deal, the US government could begin to run out of money and fail to pay its debt.

Approval by both the House and the Senate would also allow the government to pay social security recipients, veterans, and employees in the public sector.

Details of the deal outlined in the 99-page bill would limit government spending over the next two years.

What lies ahead for the US debt ceiling deal?

Since the prospects of finding totally satisfied lawmakers are slim, Biden and McCarthy are eyeing support from the political center, which is quite rare in US politics.

The bill needs some 218 votes for passage in the 435-member House.

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said, "Democrats will make sure that the country does not default."

The chances of finding support for the bill from the far-right are slight. "This deal fails, fails completely, and that's why these members and others will be absolutely opposed to the deal," Republican Scott Perry said.

"We will do everything in our power to stop it."

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