Debt limit battle set to dominate 2023 fiscal agenda – JP
McCarthy told reporters Thursday he’s ready to work with Democrats on a solution, saying he told President Joe Biden “I’d like to sit down with him early and work through these challenges.”
But Democrats, whose votes will be needed in the Senate, are pledging not to negotiate. In fact, no major cuts or other concessions have been granted in debt limit bills since 2011, when a divided Congress and the Obama administration negotiated the pact that led to 10-year appropriations caps and automatic cuts in Medicare and other mandatory benefit programs.
Some are already floating the prospect of a discharge petition to force a “clean” debt limit bill to the floor, which would require six Republicans to join all 212 Democrats. There’s precedent for such a move, including the 2002 campaign finance overhaul and 2015 Export-Import Bank reauthorization, but it’s a rare and time-consuming process.
The most likely outcome may be that Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., broker a deal that can pass in the House with Democratic and some Republican support. Even then, it would be up to House GOP leaders whether to allow a vote on the measure.
The first big test will come in early spring when House Republicans and their new Budget chairman, Jodey C. Arrington of Texas, write a budget blueprint expected to lay out a path back to surpluses within 10 years.