More than a dozen House Republicans say they won’t vote for the latest debt limit bill forged over the weekend and some have threatened to hold a vote to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republican of Ohio, from his leadership position, if the House passes the measure in its current form.
“I’m focused on defeating this bill,” said House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry, Republican of Pennsylvania, when asked if they will try to remove McCarthy from speakership. Perry said he will worry about next steps later.
This has led the Speaker and his allies scrambling to convince enough members to ensure passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 which raises the debt limit through 2025.
If the House Rules Committee manages to pass the bill out of Committee on May 30, then a vote could be held in the House as soon as May 31.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, told reporters May 30 that “it’s premature” to say if Democrats would help McCarthy if hard core Republican members force a vote to oust him as Speaker.
“Initially we heard that 95% of the House Republican Conference supports the agreement. That doesn’t appear to be the case,” said Jeffries.
On the Senate side, some Republicans are saying they will offer amendments to the bill. Senators Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa and Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana said they will force a vote on disapproving President Biden’s student loan policies which were left in place in the House debt limit bill. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, wants a vote on amending debt deal with strict spending caps.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said he favors the bill brokered by McCarthy and the Administration. “We have a chance to start bringing Washington Democrats’ reckless spending to heel,” he said in remarks from the Senate floor May 30.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said he had no problems with the legislation, but Republican intentions to offer amendments could greatly slow down the approval process in the Senate and possibly miss the June 5 deadline for default on government debt.
“Senators must act be prepared to act with urgency” to pass the legislation before the June 5 deadline he said.
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