McCarthy Earns Republican Plaudits Over Debt Deal

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy received considerable praise from Republican members of Congress following the passage of an increase to the nation’s debt limit. McCarthy’s negotiations with President Joe Biden resulted in an agreement to cut federal spending over the next ten years.

McCarthy extracted several significant concessions from the White House, including $1.3 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, as well as the return of some unspent COVID-19 funding and a reduction in future IRS spending.

McCarthy was able to both receive some requested spending cuts, as well as prevent a default on the nation’s debt. 

“I think he’s the guy that got it done,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK). 

One of the House GOP’s chief negotiators, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) said that McCarthy was able to use a “four-seat majority” to negotiate the deal with Biden. 

McHenry said that the Republican team “passed the debt ceiling increase with conservative reforms.”

The California Republican’s effort in the debt ceiling bill did result in some changes praised by a number of congressional Republicans. 

The debt limit deal earned the support of deficit hawk Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Massie had never previously voted for a debt ceiling increase prior to the original April 2023 plan by House Republicans to cut spending. 

Massie, who sits on the House Rules Committee, agreed to support the compromise between McCarthy and Biden. Massie’s vote on the Rule Committee proved decisive, as the measure made it through on a razor-thin 7-6 vote. 

Massie chided Republican lawmakers who voted against the adjusted deal. He said that if Republicans rejected the current compromise, it was unlikely that there would be a better second deal. 

The Kentucky Republican told popular radio host Glenn Beck that if the compromise bill was not accepted, it was likely that any further revision would result in a deal brokered by Democrats and a few Republican defectors. 

“I’m not here to say this is the best deal ever,” he said. “It’s a disagreement on how we go forward and what we get if we blow this up.”

While the libertarian-minded Massie supported the final bill, his counterpart Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) did not accept the same rationale. The senator instead introduced a plan for steeper budget limits.