Democrats Concede Defeat In Debt Ceiling Battle

Congressional Democrats called for their caucus to vote for the emerging debt ceiling compromise despite a number of concessions to Republicans. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), a former member of the Democrats’ House leadership admitted that the debt plan represented “setbacks.” 

Despite this, he said that Democrats in Congress must “save the American economy from Republicans’ irresponsible and radical plans to impose a damaging default.” 

Despite the described negatives, Hoyer said that he urged his “colleagues to join me in supporting this compromise legislation and bring an end to this needless economic turmoil.”

Hoyer was not the only one to express displeasure with the compromise. Prior to striking a deal several prominent Democrats warned President Joe Biden against working with McCarthy.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said that she harbored “deep concerns” over potential concessions, including changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Sen. Jeff Merkley (R-OR) said that McCarthy sought to reduce funding for social programs and to “unleash fossil fuels on America.” Instead, the Oregon Democrat called for Biden to instead invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally.

While Biden did not use the amendment to push through the current crisis, he reserved the right to use it in the future.

Furthermore, McCarthy celebrated what he described as a major win through his negotiations. He called it “worthy of the American people.”

The California Republican said that the existing deal contains “historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce and rein in government overreach.”

McCarthy added that the agreement also includes “no new taxes” and “no new government programs.” 

“There’s a lot more within the bill,” he said.

Not everyone within the Republican House caucus is in line with the prospective deal. The Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus called on McCarthy to “hold the line” regarding spending and to not compromise with Biden.

The 35 members of Congress called on McCarthy to push for deeper reductions in spending. The House GOP passed such a debt ceiling increase with substantial cuts in April.