News World The US Congress seeks to give half sanction to a law to...

The US Congress seeks to give half sanction to a law to avoid default

United States Capitol where the bill is being debated. Photo: AFP

The House of Representatives of the United States Congress will try this Wednesday give half sanction to a law that raises the debt limit to avoid a default and cut public spendingthe result of a laborious agreement that faces resistance among legislators.

The long-awaited vote, which is expected to be stormy and must be followed by another in the Senate in the coming days, comes after the bill passed its first test in Congress last Tuesday upon approval by a committee of the House of Representatives. The project is the result of an agreement reached after several days of marathon negotiations between President Joe Biden, of the Democratic Party, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, of the opposition Republican Party.

“Our bipartisan budget deal averts the worst possible crisis: a default for the first time in our nation’s history, an economic recession, devastated retirement accounts and millions of lost jobs,” Biden wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Congress, whose control is divided between Democrats and Republicans, has a few days of margin before the country’s cash runs out of liquiditywhich will happen on June 5, according to the estimate of the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen.

However, the terms of the agreement reached are rejected by a large number of conservative republican legislators and also by a handful of progressive Democratic lawmakers, whose votes are respectively courted by McCarthy and Biden. Without this, The United States risks a default or cessation of payments on its obligationssomething unprecedented that can have catastrophic consequences for the economy.

What does the project propose?

The bill suspends the call debt ceiling until 2025enough to get through the next 2024 presidential election, in which Biden is seeking re-election.

In exchange for achieving this concession, the president accepted the republican demand to limit some expenses in order to keep them stable -except the military- in 2024 and limits its increase to 1% by 2025. It also foresees a reduction of 10,000 million dollars in the funds assigned to the treasury to modernize and intensify controls.

“Nobody got everything they wanted. But that is the responsibility of governing,” Biden assured.

Joe Biden, President of the United States. Photo: AFP

Biden and McCarthy’s response

The Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives gave a first indication of the trend that is expected in the vote on the project, by approving the law by seven votes to six, with two Republicans and four Democrats against.

Now it is up to the congressmen of the House of Representatives, with a Republican majority, to rule on Wednesday’s vote scheduled in plenary session before the Senate, with a Democratic majority.

Biden “firmly” invited legislators last Tuesday to adopt this law, result of the commitment that he himself negotiated. “Let’s keep moving forward in meeting our obligations and build the most powerful economy in human history,” the president said on Twitter.

For his part, McCarthy still has a tough task ahead: convincing the Republican majority to adopt the new law so that it does not appear to depend on House Democrats.

This could be more difficult than expected as the opposition within the Republican Party appears to be outpacing the number of supporters of former President Donald Trump in the House.

Nancy Mace, Republican Congresswoman for the state of South Carolinaaffirmed this Wednesday that he will not vote in favor of the text.

“This ‘agreement’ formalizes the expected record level of federal spending during the pandemic and makes it the baseline for future spending,” Mace criticized, the AFP news agency reported.

Chip Roy, Texas congressman belonging to the Republican wing who supports former President Donald Trump, called it a “bad deal” that “no Republican should vote for.”

“We are going to continue the fight today and tomorrow no matter what happens,” Roy said.

Kevin McCarthy opposition Republican Party Photo AFP
Kevin McCarthy, opposition Republican Party. Photo: AFP

The battle between Democrats and Republicans

some republicans They even consider a motion of no confidence to force McCarthy to resign from his role as Speaker of the House.

on the democrat sidesome also show their skepticism. Congressman Ro Khanna of Californiasaid that several of his colleagues oppose the budget cuts and “don’t know yet” how they are going to vote.

For his part, Senator Bernie Sanders He anticipated that he will not give his support to the project. “At a time of great inequality of wealth and income, I cannot, with a clear conscience, vote for a bill that deprives women, infants, children and the elderly of vital nutritional assistance, while refuses to ask billionaires who have never been so well off to pay a penny more in taxes“, he said in a statement.

McCarthy’s office further said the deal provides for the recovery of “billions of dollars of unspent Covid funds.” during the coronavirus pandemic, without giving more details.

One of the points of contention includes the modifications to the conditions to benefit from some social aid, such as the increase in the working age from 49 to 54 years for adults without children who aspire to food aid.

However, the bill eliminates this requirement for veterans and the indigent.

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