The Rolling Stones inspire cross-party agreement to lift the debt ceiling

The Rolling Stones inspire cross-party agreement to lift the debt ceiling
The Rolling Stones inspire cross-party agreement to lift the debt ceiling

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The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan law just before half past four on Thursday night to lift the debt ceiling in the United States in order to avoid a potentially catastrophic US sovereign debt crisis. As the vote passed by a simple majority, the reaction was muted cheers from the hall and broad smiles.

The agreement was far from over. Both parties have tried to make jabs at the other party – without these having been fatal.

The Republicans, who have the majority in the lower house, had to get help from the Democrats. Until the vote was held, it was uncertain whether they would succeed. Even during the actual procedural vote on how the vote should take place there was drama. The Democrats initially withheld their votes.

The Democrats demanded that at least 150 of the 224 Republicans in the House of Representatives must support the proposal, and that they would provide the remaining necessary votes for a majority. Republicans said they would be satisfied with a narrow majority – 113 to vote for.

When the votes were counted, they showed that 149 of the Republicans voted in favor, and 165 of the Democrats. In total, 314 of the representatives voted for and 117 against. 71 Republicans voted against and 46 Democrats.

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Now it’s up to the Senate to approve the bill before the US runs out of money in the next 100 hours – likely on June 5, when the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling is reached.

– This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy, said President Joe Biden after the vote.

He asked that the vote in the Senate take place quickly.

Warning against collapse

House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy negotiated a deal with the White House and the Joe Biden administration last weekend. McCarthy is unpopular on the right in the party and it took 15 more voting rounds before he was elected as “speaker”.

Before the vote itself took place, the representatives could make contributions. McCarthy used the opportunity to hammer home the seriousness of the situation in which the United States finds itself.

– All great nations that have stretched too far have collapsed, warned the Republican leader in his post, where he pointed to George Washington’s farewell speech in 1796, where he warned the United States against pursuing an irresponsible financial and monetary policy.

He also addressed Americans directly and that the national debt means that each of them represents a debt of 95,000 dollars.

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– I will be honest. This agreement does not stop anything, but for the first time we are starting to turn the ship around. This should not be allowed. It shouldn’t even be a debate. How could we place ourselves in this fiscal situation, asked McCarthy.

Nicole Malliotakis, who represents Republicans from a New York district, quoted a classic Rolling Stones hit just before the vote began.

– You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need, she said in the debate.

Well, you can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime you’ll find

You get what you need

Muted criticism from the White House

The agreement means that the debt ceiling can be increased for a two-year period and that it runs until after the presidential election in November next year. The bill has received support from Democrats, who highlight certain beneficial aspects, including the long-term funding it will provide and predictability.

Progressive members of Congress are unhappy with the new work requirements imposed by the agreement. Many are annoyed that Biden even had to negotiate with McCarthy about the debt ceiling. Ro Khanna and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said early on they would vote against the proposal.

Democratic Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin criticized the demand by Republicans that welfare recipients must work during the debate, and for not prioritizing reducing the public debt.

The Democrats have been very careful to fact-check or criticize the many moves by Republican colleagues during the debate.

– The public response has been strategically muted. They know McCarthy has to sell this as a big win to get enough Republican votes. They have mostly let him do it this way, writes the New York Times in its live coverage.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using links, which lead directly to our pages. Copying or other forms of use of all or part of the content may only take place with written permission or as permitted by law. For further terms see here.

The article is in Norwegian

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