COLUMBUS, Ind. — Rep. Greg Pence, R-Indiana, voted in favor of a debt ceiling and budget cuts package late Wednesday to avert a default that would shake the global economy.
The deal, which cleared the House in a 314-117 vote, would suspend the nation’s debt limit through 2025 to avoid a federal default while limiting government spending, The Associated Press reported. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the bill would reduce budget deficits by about $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
The hard-fought deal between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden pleased few, but lawmakers assessed it was better than the alternative — a devastating economic upheaval if Congress failed to act, according to wire reports. Tensions ran high throughout the day as hard-right Republicans refused the deal, while Democrats said “extremist” GOP views were risking a debt default as soon as next week.
Overall, the 99-page bill restricts spending for the next two years, suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025 and changes some policies, including imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose, according to wire reports.
It bolsters funds for defense and veterans, and guts new money for Internal Revenue Service agents.
Raising the nation’s debt limit, now $31 trillion, ensures Treasury can borrow to pay already incurred U.S. debts.
Swift passage later in the week by the Senate would ensure government checks will continue to go out to Social Security recipients, veterans and others and would prevent financial upheaval at home and abroad, according to the AP. Next Monday is when the Treasury has said the U.S. would run short of money to pay its debts.
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana, has criticized the deal, saying in a statement that it “makes our current bloated spending levels the new baseline going forward, setting us further down the path to financial ruin.”
Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, did not have any comment on the debt limit deal as of Wednesday, staff told The Republic.