WASHINGTON — The race is on for congressional leaders to secure the votes to pass a bipartisan compromise struck by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to avert a catastrophic default with just one week until the deadline for the June 5.
Faced with skepticism or criticism within their ranks, leaders of both parties rallied on Monday to bolster support for the bill.
House Republican leaders held a conference call with reporters on Monday to promote the deal.
“This is a historic Republican victory,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., GOP conference chairwoman. “It will reduce expenses year on year.”
Republican hardliners in both chambers sniped the deal, setting the stage for a contentious showdown Tuesday in the House Rules Committee, which is due to consider the bill ahead of a scheduled plenary vote on Wednesday.
Rep. Ralph Norman, RS.C., called the agreement “madness” and said the bill had “virtually no reduction”. Representative Chip Roy, R-Texas, posted a torrent of tweets blasting the agreement like a “turd sandwich”. Norman and Roy sit on the Rules Committee. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the deal had “fake spending cuts.”
Still, these right-wingers may be a minority among Republicans on Capitol Hill. Some are convinced that the bill will succeed.
“Oh, this thing is absolutely going to pass,” Rep. Dusty Johnson, RS.D., chairman of the center-right Main Street Caucus, told reporters. “There is no doubt about it. I spoke to dozens of members – and listen, not all members are on board. But when was the last time every member of Congress agreed on anything?
GOP congressman: ‘We’re going to get there’
Many of McCarthy’s allies have touted new Congressional Budget Office estimates provided to some Republican leaders that have not been made public, two GOP sources said. Estimates say the Biden-McCarthy debt ceiling bill would cut spending by $2.1 trillion if targets are met over six years — though only two years are binding in the bill.
The legislation would extend the two-year debt limit and pair it with a two-year budget deal that would modestly cut non-military spending and increase military spending to $886 billion — the amount Biden has requested for the year. next.
Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., struck down The law project as a “defense disaster” on Twitter, claiming Biden’s Department of Defense spending figure was insufficient and threatening to block the bill in the chamber. If the House passes the bill on Wednesday, the Senate would have five days to pass it before next Monday’s deadline.
Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., said the bill would pass with support from both parties.
“We will get there,” Bice said. “There’s going to be bipartisan support on this legislation. The president supports it. I think we’re in a really good position. Spending cuts are what we asked for; no new taxes, that’s what we asked for. no own debt ceiling, that’s what we asked for, and that’s exactly what we have.
House Progressives remained silent for most of Monday as they held an afternoon call to discuss the legislation and the way forward.
Privately, some have expressed disappointment with provisions such as expanding work requirements from 50-year-olds to 55-year-olds for federal benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary needy families. They are also upset that the bill fast-tracks the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a gas pipeline under construction from northwest West Virginia to southern Virginia, and authorizes the review of energy and infrastructure projects.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said the work rules are “bad policy” that won’t help reduce unemployment.
“We’ve seen tons of data that shows that when you put these work requirements in, it’s really just red tape that keeps people who need help from getting help,” he said. she said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Democrats say he rejects ‘extreme’ GOP demands
Meanwhile, House Democratic leaders sent a memo encouraging lawmakers to sell the legislation as a defeat for “extreme MAGA Republicans” and arguing that it rejects “extreme Republican demands to cut lifelines.” criticism for ordinary Americans”.
House Democrats are facing an internal dispute over how to proceed, according to caucus sources. Political concerns aside, some are upset that they have been largely left out of negotiations and do not feel primarily responsible for pushing the bill over the line. But they are also heavily invested in Biden’s political success and protecting the US economy, which some say will be enough to win passage.
Rep. Annie Kuster, DN.H., chair of the center-left NDP coalition, welcomed the deal, saying, “We expect to be involved with the White House on our Democratic leadership team. to request support for the vote.
Kuster said she’s “happy the debt ceiling is up and we don’t have this fight again until at least 2025,” adding that the bill would protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, clean energy provisions of the Reduction of Inflation Act and the CHIPS and Science Act.
“There will be some tough pills to swallow,” Kuster said, citing the Mountain Valley pipeline as a “significant concern” expressed by some NDP coalition members. But overall, she said, the White House negotiators “did an outstanding job.”
“I don’t see this as a transformative change in government funding or the impact on the vast majority of the American people,” Kuster said. “For some people’s lives, it will be very important. But for most Americans, they won’t notice.”
Roy, the Freedom Caucus member who sits on the Rules Committee, argued that Democrats would get more out of the deal than Republicans. He tweeted on Monday that McCarthy, R-Calif., promised “nothing will pass the Rules Committee without AT LEAST 7 GOP votes.”
This came as news to fellow Republicans.
“That’s not at all what I understand,” Bice said on Monday.
Johnson said: “I’m a rules guy. When someone tells me something has to happen a certain way, the first thing I do is pull out the rules. And when I checked, he there was no rule that something had to happen from the Unanimous Standing Orders.”
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com