House Freedom Caucus offers deal to raise debt ceiling

The House Freedom Caucus fired its first salvo in the looming fight over raising the nation’s debt ceiling on Friday, as members of the conservative caucus said they would agree to raise the limit of the debt for the first time in his career if many of the legislative achievements of President Biden are. canceled and strict limits on government spending are implemented.

“The members of the House Freedom Caucus, who have never voted for an increase in the debt ceiling, will support a solution to responsibly address the impending debt ceiling crisis,” he said. the Rep. Pennsylvania Republican Scott Perry, chairman of the group, at a press conference Friday. . “Simply put, the plan is to shrink Washington and grow America.”

Many in the Freedom Caucus, which has more than 40 members, were among the detractors seeking concessions from Rep. election as president of the Chamber – and others finally voted “present” instead of supporting. The Republican majority in the House is a slim one, only 9 votes. Without the support of the Freedom Caucus, McCarthy risks a rebellion from his right wing. Perry and other members of the Freedom Caucus expressed confidence that McCarthy did not make a deal with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling.

The group wants to keep spending levels at fiscal year 2022 levels for 10 more years, which it says would save $3 billion over the long term.

In the short term, members of the caucus want to restore money already appropriated by the Democratic Congress during the first two years of Mr. Biden’s term, targeting some of his signature legislative achievements: blocking his loan forgiveness plan student of $400 billion. , which is currently working its way through the courts, withdrawing unspent COVID-19 funds that have not yet been allocated, recovering $80 billion for the IRS to strengthen its workforce and replace retiring employees and canceling billions of dollars earmarked for climate change projects. through the climate, health care and tax law passed last year.

The group is also proposing policies it says will help domestic growth — limiting the administration’s ability to write new regulations and end other rules related to domestic energy production. The Freedom Caucus also wants to see the implementation of 1990s-era work requirements on welfare programs passed under President Bill Clinton.

The group presented its plan a day later to President Biden unveiled its $6.9 trillion budget, which the White House says will reduce the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by raising trillions of dollars in taxes on the wealthy and corporations. House Republicans have yet to release their budget, but McCarthy rejected the idea of ​​a “clean” debt ceiling increase without spending cuts. The president and speaker last met in early February to talk about spending.

In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the Freedom Caucus proposal “a punch to the American middle class” that would not reduce the deficit.

“Extreme Republican MAGA proposals would ship manufacturing jobs overseas, in a crushing blow to states from Ohio to Georgia to Arizona — and provide an economic advantage to China,” he said. She went on to say that they have cut Medicare, gutted the police, weakened US efforts to compete with China and cut border security funding – all to provide tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

Perry insisted that under this plan, “benefits under Social Security and Medicare will not be cut.”

“A default on our debt would cause an economic and financial catastrophe,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday. “We urge all members of Congress to come together to address the debt limit without conditions and without waiting until the last minute.”

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that at a date between July and September, the United States will not be able to meet its debt obligations if Congress does not act.

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