|Debt Ceiling Deal Reached, Bill Heads to Congress|
Debt Ceiling Deal Reached, Bill Heads to Congress
President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reached an agreement over the weekend to raise the debt limit and determine agency funding levels, leaving Congress just six days until the new estimated default date of June 5.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3746) would suspend the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025. The bill now heads to Congress where the House is expected to vote on it as soon as Wednesday evening. Senate action would follow.
It is essential that Congress act soon to raise the debt limit and avoid a catastrophic default, but it is unfortunate that Republicans insisted on restricting agency funding for the next two years and rescinding a portion of the IRS’ long-term budget as part of the debt ceiling compromise. The IRS has already proven that the initial investments provided by the Inflation Reduction Act improved customer service and reduced backlogs.
Federal employees, however, have much to lose in a government default. Throughout the negotiations, NTEU encouraged Congress to increase or suspend the debt limit to avoid defaulting on the U.S. government's debt – and to do so without cutting funding for agencies or otherwise harming federal employees.
Overall, the agreement does less harm to the IRS and other agencies than the House Republican debt limit bill passed in April. That legislation would have rescinded $71 billion of the IRS funding and limited funding for federal agencies to FY 2022 levels.
Under the agreement being considered this week, the IRS would lose $1.4 billion this year and $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years would be reapportioned to limit the cuts to other agencies. This still leaves approximately $60 billion for the IRS to continue its rebuilding efforts.
NTEU is disappointed this agreement limits funding for agencies over the next two years and strips away critical funding from the IRS. We will continue to fight for the funding your agencies need and for any reprogrammed IRS money to be replaced.
In the meantime, NTEU is closely monitoring the legislative passage of this bill through the House and Senate. Learn more