The House passed legislation late Wednesday to implement the debt ceiling agreement negotiated between President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, putting Congress on track to allow more borrowing just days before the government is expected to run out of money.
The bill passed in a 314-117 vote that saw majorities in both parties support the agreement, which also meets the GOP demand of cutting nondefense discretionary spending over the next two years. Republicans supported the bill by a 149-71 margin, and Democrats supported it 165-46.
Democrats took credit for helping get the bill across the finish line. Earlier in the day, 52 Democrats made the rare move of voting with Republicans in a procedural vote to keep the bill alive.
“I thank House Democrats for your steady hand, for your unity of purpose, for your efforts to make sure that we push back the extreme mega Republican efforts to jam right wing cuts down the throats of the American people that would have undermined the health, the safety and the economic well-being of everyday Americans,” Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said on Wednesday night.
“From the very beginning, House Democrats were clear that we will not allow extreme MAGA Republicans to default on our debt, crash the economy or trigger a job killing recession. Under the leadership of President Joe Biden, Democrats kept our promise and we will continue,” he said.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, called the bill “objectionable” though added, “It will avert unprecedented default, which would bring devastation to America’s families.”
McCarthy, R-Calif., touted the bill’s spending cuts even though it fell short of conservatives’ original aim of slashing spending by roughly $150 billion from this year to the next.
“Tonight we’re going to do something we haven’t done before,” McCarthy said. “Tonight, we are going to vote for the largest savings in American history – over $2.1 trillion. That’s what we’re voting for. Every great nation that has overextended itself has collapsed.”
The House vote sends the bill to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised earlier in the day it would hit the floor “as soon as possible.” That vote is expected to take place this week, barring any objections from senators to moving quickly.