|Update on the Debt Ceiling - 5/25|
SUMMARY: The President and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy continue to negotiate an agreement to raise the debt limit and determine agency funding levels with seven days until the estimated default date of June 1.
With just seven days until the estimated default date of June 1, President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continue to negotiate a deal to address the debt limit and government funding. This morning it was reported that House Republican leadership feels exceedingly confident that they’ll clinch a deal with the White House to raise the debt limit and pare back federal spending and believe they will be able to win the support of the majority of the House Republican Conference for this eventual package. However, with a holiday weekend approaching, time is running out to reach an agreement and for Congress to vote on the deal.
As you know, last month House Republicans passed H.R. 2811, which would temporarily increase the debt limit in exchange for capping FY 2024 funding to last year’s level, severely limiting future increases, and rescinding more than $71 billion of the $80 billion provided to the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). While the bill does not list actual funding levels for agencies under the spending caps, given that several House Republicans have said that they do not want to cut funding for the military, veterans, and homeland security, the legislation would result in a cut of at least 30 percent to all other areas and have a devastating impact on the ability of NTEU-represented agencies to provide the critical services the American people rely on. NTEU sent letters to congressional leadership and President Biden once again urging quick action to address the debt limit without cutting agency funding or employee pay and benefits.
One option to prevent a default is the House Democrats’ discharge petition to circumvent regular House procedures and force a vote on a clean debt limit increase bill if needed. The petition requires 218 votes to release the bill from committee and start the process for a vote in the full House. Yesterday, it was announced that all 213 House Democrats have signed the discharge petition, meaning they now would need five Republicans to sign the petition to move it forward.
While it is critical that Congress act to suspend or raise the debt limit to prevent a default, NTEU strongly opposes tying the debt limit to funding cuts in FY 2024 and future years and rescinding billions in dedicated funding for the IRS under the IRA. Rest assured we will continue working with our allies in Congress to address the debt ceiling, prevent funding cuts and ensure sufficient funding to all agencies so they can continue to serve the American people and you can continue to do your job. For more information click here.
Anthony M. Reardon