In recent developments, Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden have reached a tentative agreement to raise the debt limit in exchange for cutting spending. As per the Washington Times, this deal extends the federal debt limit past the June 5th deadline and caps spending growth1.
From a conservative perspective, this agreement is a potential win. McCarthy, a California Republican, has stated that this agreement includes “historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty and into the workforce, and reins in government overreach.” The absence of new taxes and government programs in the deal is another commendable aspect from a conservative viewpoint1.
This agreement promises to raise the current $31.4 trillion debt limit until after the 2024 presidential election, clawing back more than $60 billion in unspent coronavirus relief and cutting $10 billion from the IRS. Also, it aims to keep domestic spending flat for the upcoming fiscal year while increasing defense spending by more than $26 billion. After this year, the federal spending growth will be capped at 1% through 2025, which aligns with conservative principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government. The deal also includes agreement on streamlining the federal permitting process for new energy projects and expanding work requirements for recipients of food stamps and direct cash payments, which could incentivize productivity and self-reliance1.
However, it’s not all rosy. The deal imposes new limits on childless food stamp recipients under the age of 54, requiring them to work at least 20 hours per week to access the program. This could potentially limit the program’s usage. On the other hand, it does expand food stamp access for veterans and the homeless, which could be seen as a measure to support vulnerable populations1.
The deal reflects a compromise between McCarthy and Biden. While House Republicans initially sought a $130 billion cut to non-defense spending this year and a decade’s worth of spending caps, some of these demands were sidelined amid opposition from the White House. McCarthy’s efforts to cancel Biden’s student loan forgiveness program and rescind more than $200 billion in green energy tax credits were also put aside. Despite these setbacks, the breakthrough is significant, coming after weeks of negotiations1.
It’s crucial to note that this deal is yet to secure approval from the House. McCarthy intends to release the full text of the legislation soon, with a vote expected to take place early next week. The deal will require substantial support from both Republicans and potentially Democrats to pass the narrowly divided House1.
In conclusion, while this deal reflects some compromises, it also includes significant victories for conservative principles. It remains to be seen how this will play out in the House and what impact it will have on America’s future economic stability.