McCarthy introduces debt ceiling invoice aimed toward Biden agenda

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at a rally marking the 100th day of Republican control of the House of Representatives in Washington DC April 17, 2023.

Nathan Posner | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday released his plan to raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion for about a year while trying to quash key pieces of President Joe Biden’s agenda .

McCarthy said the bill, called the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, would save American taxpayers more than $4.5 trillion by limiting discretionary spending, recovering unspent funds related to the pandemic, Biden’s plan to Student Loan Forgiveness would be removed and funds earmarked for the Inland Revenue Service would be reduced.

The cuts would come in exchange for a year-long increase in the debt ceiling. McCarthy called on Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to “sit down, negotiate and address this crisis,” but made no mention of whether the bill has enough support to pass. Biden has refused to negotiate the debt limit. Extraordinary measures to avoid the first-ever US Treasury default are set to expire this summer.

“Now that we have a clear plan in place for raising the debt limit responsibly, they have no excuse and are refusing to negotiate,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy did not say when he would put the bill to a vote in the House of Representatives. It was still not clear if he had support in his own caucus to pass the law. “I never give up, we’ll get her,” he told NBC News on Wednesday.

Even if the House GOP passes it, the Democrat-controlled Senate would likely end the measure.

McCarthy’s announcement comes after days of speculation about the GOP proposal to temporarily raise the debt limit on certain cuts, such as B. A standstill on non-defense discretionary spending.

The House Speaker also doubled down on proposals for stricter work requirements for adults without dependents, the repeal of “Biden’s army of 87,000 IRS agents” and the president’s student loan forgiveness program, which could be killed by the Supreme Court. The judges are expected to rule on the student loan program by early summer.

McCarthy also argued that the measures will protect Social Security and Medicare by forcing more people into the workforce to pay for it. But Democrats say it will hurt millions.

“Speaker McCarthy’s proposal is not about jobs,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, DN.J., senior member of the House Energy and Trade Committee, after McCarthy’s announcement. “It’s a Trojan horse designed to kick millions of people out of their health insurance with bureaucracy and tedious paperwork because Republicans don’t believe in our nation’s social safety net.” Republicans are creating a debt crisis to justify these cruel plans.”

The narrow Republican majority in the House of Representatives means McCarthy can only afford to lose a handful of GOP votes in the face of Democratic opposition.

“Let me be clear, this proposal is dead on arrival,” Pallone said Wednesday.

The White House has maintained that it will not negotiate the debt ceiling and that Congress should pass a clean raise and address any budget concerns separately. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday the administration was aware of McCarthy’s plans to release a proposal but condemned it as a political game over something that was Congress’s “duty”.

Biden also adopted McCarthy’s strategy on Wednesday. “MAGA Republicans in Congress are threatening to default on the national debt, the debt that has taken 230 years to accumulate unless we do as they say,” the president said in a speech in Maryland.

– CNBC’s Emma Kinery contributed to this report.

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